Title: Message Sent

Author: Maple Quill

Author E-mail: AmethystJackson@hotmail.com

Category: Comedy/Mary Sue

Keywords: Mary Sue, Gryffindors, Harry, Draco, Seamus

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: For all four books

Summary: All canon becomes piffle when three – yes, three – Mary Sues appear at Hogwarts. And guess who they are?

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Author's Note: Quick thanks to Emily and Aileen for their cooperation in this! You're dolls. ; -D Ha, and Aileen – I finally used the forward idea. *grins*

************************************************************************

Witch Weekly

Issue 489, No. 2

Week of May 12, 2002

Our Mary Sue Contest is alive and kicking this week, with our latest winner, Maple Quill. She's written a fic with a whopping three Mary Sues, sure to make the hair on the back of your neck stand straight. Oil your chainsaw and have a good read!

Message Sent

By Maple Quill

It was summer, and it was hot. The humidity in the Midwest was killer, especially in July. Katie should have been out swimming with her friends, or at least her cousins. But nobody was around.

Katie didn't have any friends, though she was a nice, amiable girl. She was a witch, and everyone knew it. Of course, they thought she was a Satanist as well, so it was pointless explaining that she was the kind of witch that didn't worship evil. They already had a bias against her.

Her family, with the exception of her parents, had shunned her as well. The cousins and aunts and uncles that she had grown so fond of and accustomed to refused to speak to her. Even her parents acted differently to her, as if she were a ticking bomb. It made her feel a bit like a modern day Cinderella. Hopefully, though, she, like Cinderella, would find a handsome prince to whisk her away from her awful reality.

It was so much nicer at school, though she wasn't quite accepted there, either. She was a Muggle-born, and only three Muggle-borns went to Midwestern Academy of Magics. Therefore, a prejudice against Muggle-borns existed as well. Katie, however, managed to befriend the two other Muggle-borns, conveniently both witches. Their names were Emily Long – Long was Chinese for Dragon – and Aileen Liu, who was also Chinese, though she was born in Milwaukee.

Katie sometimes found herself jealous of Emily, who was, of course, Chinese and quite beautiful for it. Of course, she was incredibly proud of her American roots, and even prouder of her Norwegian ancestry, which gave her white-blonde hair and blue eyes. But Emily, with her pure black hair, black eyes, and fair complexion, caught everyone's attention. Katie never had that advantage.

Emily was so nice, and so perfect, however, that it was impossible to hate her, though Katie would have liked to.

Aileen was enviable as well. She wasn't quite beautiful, compared to Emily, but she was pretty enough, and a near genius to make up for her other shortcomings. She was also an extremely talented witch, always scoring top marks in every class. To top it all, she was the most creative person Katie knew. Aileen was an artist, a poet, a writer – all of the things Katie would have loved to be.

So, being the Muggle-borns, they banded together. Fortunately for them, they understood the Internet (another friend of theirs, a pureblooded wizard, thought the Internet was an underground Muggle cult) and they e-mailed each other often.

On this hot summer day, Katie plopped down before the computer, relieved that her parents had gone away for a few days, leaving her free to get on the computer as often as she liked.

After signing on to AOL, she heard the familiar, "You've got mail," and went to check it. One was from Emily; the other was from…

Hogwarts?

Of course, she had heard of Hogwarts. It was the most famous wizarding school in the world. It was the school Harry Potter attended. Katie had quite the crush on Harry Potter, like most normal girls would have a crush on a member of their favorite band.

But why would a wizarding school send e-mails? Unless… She had heard about Dumbledore's connection with the Muggle world. Perhaps he had taken to sending e-mails? Frowning, Katie double-clicked on the e-mail.

Dear Miss Adams,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected for the Hogwarts Transfer Program. This program has been created for American/Australian students who wish to spend their final year of wizarding school in Britain.

If you wish to participate, please RSVP. Another e-mail shall be sent with more information.

Sincerely,

Headmaster Albus Dumbledore

Katie blinked, once, twice. Hogwarts. She could go to Hogwarts!

Quickly, Katie wrote back, saying she was interested. Just as she was about to send Emily and Aileen the news, the familiar ding told her that Emily and Aileen were meeting in their private chat room.

Emily: Oh my God, Katie, Aileen, you'll never believe this!

Katie: Har, try us

Emily: I'm going to Hogwarts!

Katie: Me too!

Aileen: Ditto

Emily: What?

Katie: I was chosen for the transfer program.

Aileen: Ahem

Katie: And Aileen was as well

Emily: You know what this means?

Katie: Yes, I do

Aileen: It's sort of obvious

Emily: WE'RE GOING TO HOGWARTS!

****

An hour later, Katie clicked open a forward. She hated chainletters like this with a passion, but something compelled her to open it.

Like it said, Katie scrolled down, making a wish. At the end, she saw the familiar string of ifs.

If you send this to seven people, your crush will fall in love with you…

Seven people…click!

"Message sent."

Meanwhile, Harry Potter sat up straight in bed, and whispered into the darkness, "I love Katie."

****

One month later…

"I can't believe we're at Hogwarts," Emily said, nearly squealing, her black hair falling gracefully down her back. She'd have a new boyfriend in no time, Katie thought.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Aileen said. "I mean, I could write a thousand poems about this castle…and the lake…and –"

"Always thinking about the poetry of things, aren't you?" Emily asked.

"What else is there to think about?"

"Poetry is good, Emily," Katie pronounced.

"When you meet Harry Potter, will you write a love poem?"

"Quite possibly," Katie replied. "Do you think we'll meet him?"

"No," Emily said firmly. "He'll meet us."

"What's the difference?" Aileen questioned.

"Dunno."

They were walking into the Great Hall now with the rest of the transfer students, led by Professor McGonagall. For some reason, Katie found herself admiring the strict woman. She, being shy and quiet as she was, could never keep such control.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce our new transfer students. From Midwestern Academy, we have Katie Adams, Aileen Liu, Emily Long…"

His voice drowned out as she saw him. Harry Potter. And he was staring right at her, his mouth open slightly. A girl beside him with bushy brown hair was poking him in the ribs. Startled, Katie realized Emily was poking her as well.

"What?" Katie hissed out of the corner of her mouth.

"They're about to sort us," Emily hissed back.

Just after she said that, Katie felt something slip over her head. The Sorting Hat, she assumed.

Hmm…Quite the creative brain you have. You would do well in Ravenclaw. But I see you do not wish to be there. Let's see…Ambition, oh, loads of ambition, and stubborn too. Slytherin? No? Well, you're certainly not a Hufflepuff, though you're loyal… Yes, I see now. You're meant for Gryffindor. There is a great deal of hidden bravery, and a love of chivalry. Yes, that's it. You're meant to be in –

"GRYFFINDOR!"

The hat came off her head, and she saw the Gryffindor Table, cheering loudly for her.

Smiling, Katie walked over to the Gryffindor Table, choosing an empty seat across from Harry.

He smiled at her. Katie felt her stomach lurch and forced a smile back. As always, she had no idea what to say. People said she was shy, but this wasn't quite true; she would speak readily, if only she had something to say.

"I'm Hermione Granger," the bushy-haired girl said in an imposing sort of tone, sticking her hand out, just as Aileen plopped down beside her, luckily sorted into Gryffindor.

"Katie Adams," she replied, shaking Hermione's hand.

"And I'm Aileen Liu."

"This is Harry Potter, as you probably know already, and on the other side of him is Ron Weasley."

Katie nodded at the two boys. "Nice to meet you."

"You're from the States?" Harry asked.

"Yes, Kansas."

"Well, I'm from Wisconsin…"

"Kansas?" Ron asked, sounding puzzled. "Wisconsin?"

"He never learned world geography," Hermione explained.

"Ha, what does he think the Internet is?" Katie asked, chuckling.

"Mum says they're an underground cult of Muggles."

Harry snorted into his plate, Hermione chuckled, and Katie burst into laughter.

"What?" Ron asked. "What is it?"

"Hey, Katie, Aileen," Emily said, appearing at her side. "Got lucky, I did. That hat wanted me in Hufflepuff! Hufflepuff! Can you imagine?"

"Hufflepuffs aren't all that bad," Hermione said. "By the way, I'm Hermione Granger, and this is Harry Potter and Ron Weasley," she added, pointing to each of them in turn.

"I'm Emily. Emily Long."

"Well, it's nice to meet you. Say, have you –"

Katie stopped listening to Hermione and tuned into the conversation Ron and Harry were having. They were talking in hushed whispers, but Katie had an acute sense of hearing, and she could make out what they were saying.

"That's Katie!"

"Harry, this is ridiculous. You don't just instantly fall in love with someone you don't know and then meet her a month later!"

"But…I feel like I know this girl, like I do love her. I mean, why would I wake up in the middle of the night with a random phrase like that in my head? I'm in love with her!"

Ron sighed, shook his head, and turned back to his food, obviously disbelieving.

Katie resisted the urge to jump out of her seat and squeal at the top of her lungs. Instead, she turned to Emily and started a conversation with her.

"I wonder who that blonde guy is?"

"Which blonde guy?" Katie asked, exasperated. There were at least twenty blonde guys at the Gryffindor table alone.

"That one over at the Slytherin table. His hair's almost silver…"

Katie turned to Harry. "Hey, who's that blonde guy at the Slytherin table?"

Harry went slightly paler, his expression one between disbelief, jealousy, and disgust. "That's Draco Malfoy."

"Oh my God, what an awesome name," Emily said immediately. "Draco is Dragon in Latin!"

Katie rolled her eyes and explained to Harry, "She's obsessed with dragons."

"She wouldn't like them so much if she had taken on a Hungarian Horntail when she was fourteen."

"No, I imagine not," Katie replied, grinning. Looking back towards Emily, she found an empty seat. Emily had run off to the Slytherin table and was now sitting by Draco, flirting like a desperate woman in a gay bar.

"Has she no shame!" Aileen cried out. "I swear, she only just got here, and she's already trying for a boyfriend!"

"Piffle," Katie responded. "I saw you talking to that Irish guy."

"His name is Seamus Finnegan, and we were discussing the similarities between Tarot and Arith-"

"Whatever you say…"

"Students!" Dumbledore cried from the High Table, and everyone quieted immediately. "Welcome, first years, and our new seventh years. We do hope you'll enjoy your stay at Hogwarts. For now, follow your House Prefects to your dormitories. They will show you where to go."

"You can follow Hermione and me," Harry said to Katie and Aileen.

"Yes," said Hermione, eagerly as though she had been waiting for the moment all her life, "We're Head Boy and Girl."

So, Aileen, Katie, and a harassed Emily, who had been cruelly torn away from Draco, followed Harry and Hermione up several floors to Gryffindor Tower.

"Maple quill," said Hermione to a large painting of a fat woman – the Fat Lady. The portrait swung forward, and they all stepped through the hole left in the wall.

The common room was bright and cheery, glowing with the fire and candles lit all over the room. A few lamps sat in corners, their bulbs flickering as though they needed to be changed.

"Come on," Hermione commanded. "The girls' dormitories are this way. The three of you will have one to yourself."

They followed Hermione up a long flight of spiral stairs. At the very top they reached a door, marked with a blue 7.

There were three beds in the room, as well as a large fireplace, already lit, and a huge bay window with a ledge wide and long enough to lie on. Aileen would be there all day, Katie thought.

"Well," Hermione huffed, "you have a nicer room than we do."

"I'm going back down to the common!" Emily exclaimed.

Hermione scowled. "Honestly, how do you put up with her? She might as well have ADD!"

Aileen grinned. "We have to give her shots every hour or two to keep her calm and compliant. We're actually evil doctors testing narcotics on the students of Hogwarts."

Hermione laughed. "Don't try it on Harry. He'll stab you."

"Stab, you say?" Aileen asked. "Jumpy, is he?"

"Ha, no. He's just good with a sword."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yes, he nearly mauled a basilisk with Gryffindor's sword in our second year. It's too bad I was Petrified…I would have loved to see that."

Katie grinned, trying to imagine a twelve-year-old version of Harry waggling a sword at a giant snake.

"Well," Hermione began, "I really must get back down to the common room. Ron said he needed to talk to me."

Hermione left, and Katie flung herself onto the nearest bed, while Aileen, predictably, went to the window seat.

"Would you look at those stars? They're magnificent here. You'd never see them like this at home."

Magically, no doubt, Aileen produced a notebook and quill and began to scribble away at a poem.

"Write a poem about these beds when you're done with that," Katie mumbled. "They're heavenly."

"Better than yours at home?"

"Oh, heavens yes."

"It's funny how you keep associating them with heaven."

"Good reason." Katie sat up. "I think I'll go spend some time in the common room. I need to get used to the feel of the place."

"Okay," Aileen replied distractedly, her quill scratching over the page.

Katie grinned at her back and trotted down the spiral staircase. The room was empty, most students having gone to bed immediately, exhausted by a day's worth of travel and heavy stomachs.

There was a couch and a few chairs by the fire. It looked like a nice place to sit for awhile. Often accused of being a pyromaniac, Katie loved nothing more than to sit by a fire for hours on end.

Katie jumped and gave a small squeak of surprise as she found Harry lying on the couch with his eyes half-closed. They shot open when she shrieked.

"Often scared by inanimate objects?" he asked jokingly.

Katie smiled nervously. "Didn't see you there, and I didn't expect you to be there."

"Funny," Harry commented.

Katie raised an eyebrow but Harry didn't elaborate. Instead he sat up and gestured to the space left behind. Katie smiled uncertainly again and sat down next to him.

"So…" Katie began, showing off her trademark speechlessness.

"How do you like Hogwarts so far?" Harry asked – almost too eagerly. Could he have been as nervous as she was?

"Oh, it's wonderful!" Katie gushed. "It's so much better than being at home or Midwestern. The people here are…well, nice. My parents hate me for being a witch, and everyone at school hated me for being a Muggle-born, except for Aileen and Emily… And this castle…it's so beautiful. Our dorms at Midwestern were more like hospital rooms, and the school was separate. This is just…amazing. I can't wait until classes start. I'm sure they're much better than the ones we had at Midwestern. They were okay, but I always felt like I was missing something."

Harry grinned, looking like he was about to laugh, just as Katie realized how much she had talked. "Oh, I'm sorry!" she said, "I was rambling, wasn't I? I do that sometimes, if I'm nervous, or if I've just got too many thoughts and nowhere to put them."

"Which is it this time?"

"A bit of both," Katie admitted.

"You're nervous, then?"

"Well, yes…you are Harry Potter, after all."

"Yeah," Harry muttered, glancing downward, "That's me."

"What's the matter?" Katie asked him gently, seeing some sort of distress, though he hid it well.

"Oh, the same thing that's always been the matter."

Katie waited, but like before, Harry didn't elaborate.

"You know," Harry said, "they're holding a sort of ball this Saturday, another welcome for you newbies, I suppose."

"A dance? They had them quite often at Midwestern. I didn't like them much, though. Nobody ever asked me to dance. A few would ask Emily, even though she was one of the 'Mudbloods.'"

"I can't believe nobody ever asked you," Harry said.

"Shouldn't be too surprising. I've always been like fake diamonds on a ring with a real stone…I'm okay and all, but I'm just not the shiny gem in the center."

"That's not true."

Katie's stomach fluttered. "I don't like liars, you know."

Harry began to blush, and said, "Would you – er – want to go to the dance with me?"

Katie gaped at him. She was not expecting that.

"I shouldn't have asked," Harry said quickly, blushing ever more deeply. "I'm sure you –"

"I would love to go with you!"

Harry blinked. "Really?"

"Yes, of course!"

Harry smiled with relief. "Good. It's a date, then."

*****

Meanwhile, Emily was having troubles.

"Draco – mmph – I – mmph – it's – mmph – late –" she managed between Draco's fierce kisses.

Draco finally pulled away, gasping slightly for lack of air. "You can stay here with me. No one will notice you're gone."

"Yes, but someone will notice me when he or she comes to use the Prefects' bathroom in the morning!"

"Oh, come on," Draco whispered seductively, "stay with me, just for a little while."

Emily sighed and gave in. He was so…so…well, it was hard to think of what he was. He was sexy, in a dark way, and beautiful, but he was manipulative, yet he was sincere…

Draco kissed her again, and Emily forgot why she fought him in the first place. He was definitely an experienced kisser, for that matter. Somehow he knew just what to do with his lips and his tongue and his hands. Emily had thought she always knew what to do in her position – every boy she had ever kissed had seemed nervous and sloppy – but now she was quite sure she was the inexperienced one.

Then Emily remembered why she had gone to see Draco in the first place. Of course, she only wanted to ask him to the ball. They had somehow ended up kissing on the floor, however, and Emily had never asked…

"Draco," she started, pushing him away. "I wanted to ask you something."

"Ask away," Draco replied, lazily straightening out his clothing.

"Do you want to go to the ball with me this Saturday?"

"Well, I –"

"You already have a date, don't you? I should have known. What with a whole house of girls after you, of course you would have a date –"

Draco laughed, and Emily shut her mouth abruptly. "What's so funny?"

"Have you seen the girls in my house? There's no way in hell that I would go with one of them."

Emily forced a smile. There was almost a less likely chance of him staying with her. He would certainly dump her if he ever found out that she was not only a Gryffindor, but a Muggle-born as well.

"So you'll go with me?"

"Eh, why not? Haven't gotten any better offers."

Emily frowned. He had just been kissing her like that, and only because he couldn't find anything better?

Draco's lips locked on hers again, and all the upsetting thoughts were pushed to the back of her mind.

*****

Just perfect. A knock on the door. Didn't these people understand how important it was to not interrupt during a good muse?

With a sigh, Aileen sat down her quill, vowing to finish the poem the minute her visitor left, and crossed the room to the door.

To her surprise, Seamus stood on the other side.

In all honesty, she did think Seamus was rather cute…

But not the way her friends kept insisting. Aileen wasn't that interested in dating in the first place. She had more important things to think about, like her studies.

"Hallo," Seamus said amiably.

"Er, hi, Seamus," Aileen replied awkwardly.

"I'm sure you're not in the mood for company at the moment, what with the settling in and all, but I just wanted to ask you –"

"Ah! Hold on, Seamus, I just had a burst of genius," Aileen cried as a perfect line for her poem popped into her head. Well, really, did he expect her to concentrate solely on him when she had a poem to think about?

After jotting the line down, she turned back to Seamus. "You were saying?"

"Er, I was just asking if you wanted to go to the ball with me on Saturday."

"There's a ball on Saturday? I must have missed that…"

"Yeah, you were talking to Hermione about the connection between chemistry and potions when Dumbledore announced it."

"Oh, well, in that case I definitely didn't hear it. Hermione had some really amazing ideas on the subject –"

"Uh, back to the subject of the dance…"

"Oh, right, sorry," Aileen said, tearing her thoughts away from academics.

"Well?"

Well? What would she say? He was nice enough, and she supposed it would be nice to have a date to a dance for once… Eurgh, but then comes dating and before you know it your grades have gone to pot because you can't concentrate on your school work and your love life –

"Sure, I'll go with you," Aileen answered, praying to whatever gods she could come up with that he wouldn't want a relationship.

"Great," Seamus said. After giving her a chaste peck on the cheek, he turned and left.

Oh, what had she gotten herself into?

*****

Saturday…

The three of them were dressed up and ready to go – some of them more than others. Katie watched with amusement as Emily told Aileen she wasn't dressy enough and put in enormous hoop earrings at the same time.

Katie was gratefully free from Emily's criticism this time. Her hair hadn't fallen from its clips – yet – and her makeup was still safe from smudges. She had gone with her red dress robes, since red seemed to look less than horrible on her. She had wanted to wear blue, but then she would have looked too much like Aileen and Emily…

Emily looked stunning as usual in form-fitting sky blue robes with her hair parted to the side. Aileen, however, could have done better. She was always pretty, of course, but it really wasn't proper to wear everyday robes to a ball.

"I'll thank you to know that these are specially tailored robes!" Aileen yelled defensively to Emily. "It's not as if I'm wearing school robes!"

"Well, at least they're turquoise and not black…"

Katie tuned out their conversation as Harry walked into the room and her stomach did a little flip-flop. Yes, she thought, green is most definitely his color. Maybe I can talk him into wearing it everyday…

"You look amazing," Harry said, and Katie blushed deeply. Perhaps it had just been a formality, but he sure sounded convincing.

"Thank you," Katie managed with a nervous smile.

"Er, shall we?" Harry offered his arm to her, and she took it happily. They left, leaving behind a bickering Aileen and Emily.

*****

Aileen was just about to strangle Emily when Seamus tapped her on the shoulder. Well, he does have his uses, Aileen thought.

"Good!" Emily exclaimed. "We can – hey, where's Katie?"

"She and Harry already left," Seamus told them.

"Didn't even notice," Emily replied.

"Yes, because you were too busy picking at my robes," Aileen snapped, steering Seamus to the portrait hole.

"Oh, don't get huffy on my now, dear," Emily said cheerfully, trotting along behind them, "We've a ball to attend, and the prince awaits!"

"What prince?" Seamus asked. Aileen smirked, knowing how he would react when Emily answered him…

"Draco Malfoy, of course!"

Seamus paled. "You've got to be insane."

"Oh, she is," Aileen told him happily as they started the walk down to the Great Hall.

*****

Emily found Draco waiting outside the double-doors that opened into the Great Hall. He was as handsome as always, if not more arrogant.

Draco didn't speak a word to her; he just led her into the Great Hall onto the dance floor and pulled her closer for a slow dance. Emily sighed and put her arms around him. They didn't really need to talk, did they?

*****

Aileen was surprised to find herself having a good time with Seamus. Of course, he wasn't the best dancer in the world, but neither was she, and Seamus knew quite a bit about Muggle science, so they had quite intelligent conversations on the subject.

And she found out that he liked to read poetry. Maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't be such a hindrance after all.

*****

Katie couldn't help but notice the way Harry looked at her. It was the way a person who loved you was supposed to look at you…

And once again her mind turned back to the conversation she had heard him have with Ron and the Opening Feast. Why on Earth would he be in love with her, though?

Like a puzzle putting itself together, the answer came to her.

Aileen had just been talking last night about how you could charm a file on a computer, and that charm would travel to everyone who touched it. So, she had said, some of those forwards might just work.

She had sent that forward right after she got the letter from Hogwarts. She even remembered the message and its instructions. If you send this to seven people, your crush will fall in love with you. She sent it to seven people.

And Harry was her crush.

Katie almost burst into tears even as she slow-danced with Harry. He wasn't really in love with her; he didn't even like her. He had been forced to feel this way, with magic.

And the worst part was that she was starting to fall for him…

As if on cue, Katie thought, an enormous crack interrupted everything occurring in the room, and all eyes turned to where the sound had originated.

A witch – or was she? She might have been a demon or something – stood in the center of the Great Hall. She was beautiful and powerful, standing tall and dignified. Anyone who had the gall to mess with her would be punished, and horribly.

"Katie Adams and Harry Potter, come forward my servants!"

After glancing warily at each other, Katie and Harry walked to the center of the room.

"Ah, mortals, do you know who I am?"

"No," Harry replied tentatively.

"And what about you, child? Do you know who I am?" the woman asked Katie.

She didn't, but…she looked so familiar. And suddenly, she did remember where she had seen this woman's image before. But she couldn't be…they weren't real, only myths…

"A-Aphrodite," Katie whispered tentatively.

"Very good, child.

"Yes," she shouted to the entire room, "I am the Goddess Aphrodite, ruler of love and all things beautiful.

"And child," she said in such a quiet whisper that only Katie could hear, "I have business with you. Please, follow me outside."

So Katie followed the goddess into the Entrance Hall, fearful and excited and delighted all at once.

"Dear girl, I am here because a charm was sent to you, and you used it."

"I didn't mean to –"

"Oh, I know," the goddess said, smiling kindly. Katie almost scowled. Wasn't Aphrodite supposed to be manipulative? "I realize the power of the spell. It is a great love spell, and I'm sure you've realized that it worked, or else I wouldn't have been called here."

"Yes, I've figured it out."

"Well, you have two options. You may keep the spell on Harry as it is – for a price. Or you can have the spell taken off right now."

Katie had to think about this. She wanted Harry to love her, so badly. But she really didn't want him to love her against his will. And what price might she have to pay on top of that?

"T-take the spell off," Katie decided.

"You are a wise child, and brave I see. Not many would have the courage to admit they made a mistake and fix it – which I can see you are doing now. Come, let's go get this over with."

Katie followed Aphrodite back to the center of the Great Hall. Harry still stood there, and the rest of the school seemed to be in the same positions as they were before they had left.

"Harry," Aphrodite said, "please stand quite still."

Harry opened his mouth, most likely to ask what was happening, but Aphrodite silenced him. "Please, do not speak. It will all become clear in a matter of moments."

Suddenly, Aphrodite gracefully waved one of her perfect hands, and something resembling lightning flashed.

As the light cleared, Katie surveyed the damage. There was a charred patch in the center of the Great Hall, and Aphrodite was missing. But that didn't matter when Katie's eyes found Harry.

He had fallen to the ground, unconscious – if not dead.

Katie fought hard not to panic. Come on, move, she told herself frantically. He'll be all right, but not if you don't do anything…what do you do at this point? Oh, God, what do they do on those Muggle doctor shows? Oh, check his pulse! Right, make sure he's alive…

Katie went to her knees and felt his wrist for a pulse, ignored the shouting and chaos behind her. Harry was her problem now, and everyone else could go to hell for all she cared.

He had a pulse; he was still alive. Everything would be okay.

"Mobilicorpus," she whispered after retrieving her wand from her pocket.

Good grief, how could she get him to the Hospital Wing when she couldn't get through this crowd?

"SHUT UP, EVERYONE," she shouted to the panicking students. "HARRY WILL BE FINE IF YOU MOVE, NOW!"

The rest of the school cleared a path to the doorway, much to Katie's relief. She wasn't sure she could yell like that again.

Somehow, she got him to the Hospital Wing without a nervous breakdown. Madam Pomfrey took charge then, claiming to Katie that Harry would be fine, but she wouldn't if she didn't stop fretting. So Katie collapsed into a chair beside Harry's bed and waited.

Ron, Hermione, Aileen, Seamus, and Emily had all been by. Draco had neglected to come with Emily, of course, which Katie was thankful for. They were all gone now, much to Katie's relief. She really needed some time alone to gather her thoughts.

Two or three hours later, Katie was about to give up and go back to Gryffindor Tower when Harry's eyes flickered open.

Katie jumped out of her seat. Would he be all right? Would he remember it all? Would he remember anything?

"Eurgh, what the hell did that woman – er, goddess – do to me?" Harry asked, finding his glasses on his bedside table.

Katie took a deep breath and explained, "She, uh, took a spell off you. A love spell, to be exact."

"What? A love spell?" Harry frowned in confusion.

"Yeah," Katie continued, "I, er, well, I accidentally put a love spell on you…and Aphrodite came to fix it, and she took off the spell –"

"Eh? But…"

"But what?" Katie asked, curious.

Harry shook his head. "I don't think she took the spell off."

Katie scowled. "Why do you think that?"

"Because – I'm still in love with you."

Katie's jaw dropped. Aphrodite had taken the spell off, hadn't she?

"It does feel different, though," Harry added. "More…real, I suppose…"

Katie fell into the chair behind her. Could it be possible that he had really fallen in love with her underneath the spell?

"Harry," Katie whispered. "Do you think you might have actually…do you think you might really love me? Even with the spell gone?"

"It feels like I really love you," Harry replied, his eyes burning into hers.

Katie couldn't help it; she smiled. "Want to know something strange?"

"Er, okay," Harry said, visibly a little hurt by her lack of response.

Katie's smile grew larger. "It feels like I really love you, too."

AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER

(*coughs from Emily* Until the sequel, that is.)