Magnolia Crescent

Chapter Thirty-Nine

The Result of Dancing Lessons with Snape

"As you are all well aware, recent events have made this speech unavoidable, but useless all the same," Professor Snape hissed while Leo sat down next to Dante and Alec. "Seeing as how none of my students were capable of entering the Triwizard Tournament.

"Or because we didn't piss off a dark wizard," Alec cracked with a small smirk. A cold glare from Snape quickly ended the ensuing laughter.

"As I was saying, since not a single one you have need of being at the front of the dance, I felt that any appearances or requirements towards you were minimalistic at best," he explained, letting the words hang in the air.

Leo bit back a sigh and began to subtly tap his foot. He knew all too well that Professor Snape was going to drag this out for as long as possible.

"However, Dumbledore has seen fit to make me sit down with the lot of you and explain how not to make a complete and total, disreputable, disturbed disruption and how to prevent them from happening. If I find out anyone with green or a serpent has caused an incident – be it small, international or between houses – you will be scrubbing blood off the dungeon walls for your detention," he snapped. Roughly half of his house jumped in their seats.

Leo kept his hands still with a blank expression on his face. Snape had a habit of picking on people that didn't share his impassive expression. "It won't be long now before they start taking bets on how much Dumbledore would have to twist their Head of House's arm," he thought to himself, beginning to naturally block the man in question out.

"So if you do go, make sure you go with someone, if you have the desire to show up at all. Also, I have been asked to have some dancing lessons. The Headmaster, it seems, wants to encourage such behavior; at least to make a good first impression before you all decide to act like a bunch of heated werewolves," Snape said. "Now then, I will need two volunteers to start this monkey business off." With that, Snape stood up and began to scan the group for an unwilling pair of participants. Miss Bulstrode and ah, Mister Potter's newest addition," he said, watching Leo as he stood to his feet. "Make sure you have enough distance. Any closer and you will be forced apart."

"No concerns there," Leo grumbled, receiving a hard glare from the professor. Snape grabbed both of their shoulders and began to move them around rather clumsily.

"Move your feet, Mr. Holmes. Do try, for once in your life, to cooperate with authority," he growled. Leo struggled with the instruction while Snape charmed the record player. It began to play a song he was not familiar with. The pair started to move while Millicent glared at him. Leo did his best to dance when a thought popped into his head.

"I can ask Hermione to the Yule Ball," he realized, his mood suddenly brightening. Suddenly, his steps picked up and he actually put some effort into his dancing. Now they were moving around the room in time with the music.

"I would say that has been an adequate demonstration. Now, each of you pair up. And don't forget, I am watching each of you," Snape said. The flood gates opened, allowing Leo to stop being the uncomfortable center of attention.

"Not bad for a blood traitor," Bulstrode growled. The end of class could not have come sooner.

As soon as class was released, Leo broke into a full on sprint, weaving students and giggling girls. With the recent announcement, everyone knew full well the only target a running guy would have on his mind. He broke into the dueling club, all but skidding across his tripping feet and falling in a heap in front of Hermione.

"WillyougototheYuleBallwithme?" he breathed out. Hermione could only look at him in bewilderment.

"Pardon?" she asked while Luna elbowed her.

"Leo would like to ask for your company during the Yule Ball. Would you do him the honor?" she translated and Leo hastily nodded in agreement. Hermione put a hand to her chest, clearly touched by the notion. He felt his hopes soar before a frown appeared on her face.

"I've already agreed to go with someone else," she admitted. Leo could have sworn they could hear his face cracking.

"Who in the world?" he mouthed silently. His first thought was of one person; only one person would have the gull. "Weaslebee," he growled, taking out his wand and turning towards Ron on the other side of the room. Before anyone could say a word, a fountain of spiders poured out of Leo's wand while Ron's face paled.

"Spiders," he squeaked, making a mad dash for the door. Leo shot after him like a wolf on the hunt.

"Hey, everyone, I got it figured out," Harry said as he bounced into the room. His smile quickly faded when Ron bowled into before scrambling to his feet and taking off. Leo paused for a second by the door to look at Harry harshly.

"You better run! I'll have your head for this!" he shouted. Harry looked at him in bewilderment as he tore off after the massive trail of spiders.

"So, are you going to tell him that it wasn't Ron?" Luna asked. Hermione settled back in her chair, continuing the book she was reading.

"Maybe after he terrorizes Harry as well," Hermione said, clearly unconcerned with the emotional trauma that Ron was now enduring.

"I didn't do it, I swear!" Ron cried out, bolting through the Great Hall, over benches and back into the main school. Anyone nearby with even a mild casing of arachnophobia was left shrieking in their wake as the two raced through the school.

"You dare? That was the only thing keeping me happy in that stupid dance lesson. I'll have your head for destroying my big night!" Leo roared while they tore past Sirius and Lupin.

"What in the world?" Lupin asked in worry.

"Young love," Sirius replied, barely looking up from his scroll and completely uninterested in stopping them.

"I have no idea what you are talking about!" Ron cried out. However, Leo was at a point beyond reasoning.

"Ron, Leo! What are you doing?" Harry shouted, running up behind the two. Leo was now gaining ground on a terrified Ron.

"You asked her out, didn't you?" Leo accused, tackling him to the ground. They landed in a pile of flailing limbs.

"I did no such thing!" Ron cried out and Leo paused. The sudden drop of activity put Ron at ease. But Leo's gaze was now darting at Harry.

"Look, I figured out what the next task is," he said with a bright smile now that they were both listening. But Leo snatched him up by his robes. (AN: insert Harry's Whomping Willow expression here) ( . /tumblr_lxt2pdqyC31r3rgwko1_ )

"You!" he shouted, dragging Harry into the tussle.

"You're breaking my arm!" Ron shouted.

"That's only because snapping your neck is illegal!" Leo shouted back. At that moment, a fourth voice pitched in to try and talk some reason back into them.

"Guys!" Hermione snapped and the fighting stopped. "Leo, I was asked out by someone else. And for his safety, I shall be his name to myself. So, would you kindly release my friends?" She raised her eyebrows, tilting her head towards where Leo still grasped the front of Ron's robes.

Leo watched Hermione for a brief second, seeming to debate internally. Then, without any hesitation, he smoothly punched Ron one more time and released him. Hermione sighed, dropping her head into one hand.

"Ow! Bloody hell, mate!" Ron gripped, pushing himself off the floor and trying to mop up a bloody nose. He turned to give Leo a piece of his mind but couldn't bring himself to do it. Leo looked beaten inside, his shoulders hunched over and he looked at Hermione with all the pain of a whipped puppy dog.

"Please don't look at me like that," Hermione pleaded, realizing just how dejected he looked. He didn't say anything but turned and began to slowly walk down the corridor with his hands stuffed into his pockets.

"I really wanted to tell him off, but I feel so bad for him," Ron admitted, glancing at Hermione. With a weak smile, she pulled out her wand and fixed Ron's bloody nose.

"So, is it serious?" Harry asked, watching Leo turn a corner and vanish from sight.

"What? Why would I be going with your godfather?" Hermione asked, receiving a glare from Harry.

"You have no idea how sick of that joke I am getting. I meant with the Yule Ball," he clarified.

"Oh, sorry, my mind is elsewhere. To be honest, the whole idea is to help build relationships between schools. Honestly, I'm going with him to set an example – nothing serious in the slightest," Hermione admitted.

"You might want to tell him that," Ron replied. "I mean, how badly would the team dynamic be messed up if one of them is out of it thanks to heartbreak," he said, touching gingerly at his nose.

"Ronald," she said with a frown but she quickly realized that he was trying to hide his real concern. "Boys," she huffed, racing off after Leo.

"So, figured it out, huh?" he asked Harry, turning back to the corridor they had come from.

"Yeah, I did. Just took a bit of help from Cedric," he admitted.

"How did you figure it out?"

"I took a bath with it," Harry said brightly.

"Okay," Ron drawled, unsure of how that would work.

"So, have you seen Zachary?" Harry asked. Ron only shrugged his shoulders.

"The Americans usually congregate in the Great Hall. Wouldn't be a bad place to check," Ron pointed out. Harry nodded and gave a quick wave.

Harry made his way towards the Great Hall, and a few moments, slipped in to try and find the other Champion. There was no luck, but he spotted a familiar face all the same.

"Laryl, have you seen Zachary?" he asked and she glanced up at him.

"Why?" she asked, crossing her arms.

"Personal reasons," Harry said, knowing full well that his real reason was, in fact, breaking the rules.

"If you must know, he should be outside the castle. He's been doing a lot of running lately, mostly outdoors," she answered.

Harry nodded in thanks and he quickly made himself scarce. When he left the Great Hall, he nearly bumped into Hermione

"Have you seen Leo around here?" she asked, glancing around.

"I haven't seen him," Harry replied with a shrug. She sighed and walked off. Harry rubbed the back of his neck with a frown.

"Sorry about that," Leo said, causing Harry to jump out of his skin. "Sorry, I really shouldn't have freaked out like that.

"Try not to let it happen again. Why were you so worked up anyway?" Harry asked. "Mind if we walk and talk?" Leo nodded and followed Harry through the school and onto the grounds.

"I honestly figured you and Ron would be the only ones willing to ask her out. And I guess my first thought was scare tactics. Not saying it was smart," Leo admitted.

"Yeah, well, I don't know who it is. I don't even have a clue of who to take and I've got to dance with her in front of all four schools," Harry admitted. "The spiders were hilarious, if a bit mean," he added with a chuckle.

"You know, I don't think she takes my advances seriously," Leo said, seeming to huddle in on himself.

"As far as I know, Hermione only takes her studies seriously. But she is a young woman and I have been hanging around Lupin too much. I think you were just a bit off. She seems more interested in the other wizarding cultures than anything else. Also, she is searching for you. Speaking of this whole thing, did you apologize to Ron for attacking him?" Harry asked.

"I am not apologizing to him. I don't like him one bit," Leo replied, firm in his conviction.

"Ron is a good friend. I would hope that you would at least be willing to be that courteous if you plan on staying mine," Harry replied with a frown.

"It's not a matter of being polite, it's trust. Harry, I don't know how much you know of the wizarding world, but for a long time, trust was – and still is – a commodity. Not trusting someone isn't the same as forgetting a birthday. For a long time, people couldn't trust anyone. You could have a few good friends and everyone else, they could be with You-Know-Who. Not trusting the word of a friend, that's not something I just forgive or forget," Leo said. Harry watched him curiously.

"You are a very intense person, you know that?" Harry asked and Leo nodded.

"Hey, I don't half-ass something. I put my soul into anything I do. So, if you're a friend of mine, you're stuck like that unless something bad comes between us."

"Like a woman?" Harry asked.

"Since when did you start dating? Speaking of which, if you're interested in going with someone who won't expect you to dance too much, I recommend Luna. I would ask her out, but the Champion's needs overrule us lesser folk," he suggested with a light laugh.

"Don't you start putting me on a pedestal," Harry said, holding both hands up.

"Relax, I'm just messing with you. Hey, it's that American," Leo pointed out.

"I need to go talk with him. Be right back, Leo," Harry said with a nod, catching up with Zachary. "Hey, in case you haven't figured it out, I wanted to let you know that the next task is going to be underwater," he said when he was beside the running American. Zachary slowed to a walk and stared at Harry.

"Why are you telling me this?" he asked.

"Well, you see, um, it's hard to explain," he said. Zachary glanced at his arm. "No, it's not about that. I just don't think it's fair if I got help and you didn't get a chance to get the clue. I think it has to do with mermaids so make sure you can breathe underwater," Harry said. With that, he walked away.

"You get one favor for this. I don't like to be in debt to someone. We clear? When I give it, you take it!" Zach shouted back. Harry didn't reply but walked back over to Leo.

"You are far too nice for your own good," Leo commented with a sigh. Harry only shrugged.

"And you're too trigger happy. Nobody is perfect," he retorted as they walked back to the castle.

"No wonder you can't get a date," Leo replied with a sly smirk.

Boys will be boys, I suppose. Well, I hope you guys are happy with the chapter and got a good laugh out of it. As always, R&R to let us know how we are doing.

Oh! This reminds me that I need to remind you guys about SWD's newest story called Golden Eagle. It's about an up and coming pirate who unwittingly drags his mishmash crew into all sorts of shenanigans. FYI, it is rated M for violence, swearing and other "shenanigans". Here's the link and I hope you guys give it a read. Just take out the space before the dot com. Curse you, fanfiction and your link formatting *shakes fist angrily*