Rita and the Sex Scandals
The spider looked over at the large lump of the wrapped dung beetle in disgust. The smell emanating from the thing was enough to turn his stomach. He had already wrapped it in three additional layers of webbing and still the smell continued. 'Maybe it needs more time,' the spider thought, but realized time was running out. The snow the previous day had indicated it was time for him to hibernate or die. 'I'll give it a few more hours. If it still stinks, I'll abandon it. Can't have that smell ruining my hibernation.'
Rita Skeeter awoke to an extremely bad taste in her beetle mouth. The first thing she noticed was that she was moving slightly as if swaying in a breeze. The next was that she couldn't move her body. As her beetle-eyed vision came in its multifaceted focus, she realized most of the facets were covered in some kind of milky white thread substance. But the few facets that were able to see could clearly make out an enormous, eight-legged creature.
'Oh no, it's an acromantula! I better transform back and get out of here.' And as she was about to revert back to her human form, she remembered an article she had read in a fashion magazine on acromantula silk being the strongest substance known. 'More sturdy than most metals,' the article had said. 'If I revert back and the silk doesn't break, I'll die,' Rita thought. Panic descended into the mind of the self-declared Daily Prophet's best reporter and she blacked out.
Harry awoke the next morning after the Yule Ball in a very good mood. The melodies of the previous evening came instantly to his mind along with the beauty of his Mione. He could still feel her in his arms as the music played, the look of enjoyment she had in her eyes. He remembered the garden in all its splendor with all the flowers blooming.
'Flowers! That's it,' he thought. 'I'll get Hermione some flowers to tell her how much I loved last night.' Harry quickly scrambled out of bed and quickly dressed. Right before he left his room he had a thought. 'I wonder if we are allowed to pick the flowers. I guess I should just make sure no one sees me.' He quickly grabbed the Marauder's map and made his way to the garden. He was happy to find the warming charm was still in place, meaning the flowers hadn't been damaged. He quickly glanced at the map and, finding no one else in the garden, started picking two dozen roses. Once he had finished, he started thinking of how to get them to Hermione and a thought came to him.
"Dobby?" Harry said quietly and, a second later, the little elf was beside him.
"What can Dobby do for Harry Potter sir?" The house elf asked.
"Dobby, is there something these can be put in?"
"Yes sir, Harry Potter sir. I can put them in a nice vase."
"Can you do that please, Dobby? And would it be possible for you to put them next to Hermione's bed so she sees them when she wakes up?"
"Oh yes sir, Harry Potter sir. Dobby can do that. Can Dobby cut them and make them all fancy sir?" Dobby asked.
"I want them perfect for her, Dobby. Anything you can do would be appreciated and I'll pay you a galleon. But she wouldn't want you to do too much."
"Yes Sir. Dobby will make them perfect." Dobby said and took the roses from Harry and disappeared.
Harry looked at the map one more time to make sure there was still no one there and was almost ready to wipe it when he noticed a name of a person he did not expect to see. The name Rita Skeeter was next to the base of one of the nearby towers and she wasn't moving. 'I wonder what she's doing here this early in the morning. Maybe I'll sneak over and see,' Harry thought.
The air got distinctly colder when Harry moved out of the magically warmed gardens. As he got closer to where Rita was located, Harry started moving slower to better cover his approach. He knew Rita was right around the corner, but he couldn't hear anything. He looked again at the map and the dot that said Rita Skeeter still had not moved. 'Maybe she got drunk and passed out,' he thought. 'If she did, maybe I can get Colin to take her picture and we'll send it to the Prophet.'
Harry poked his head around the corner and saw… nothing. Perplexed, he looked again at the map. It showed Rita Skeeter was right there. He looked again and saw nothing but a spider web glistening in the chilled air. A very plump spider sat in the middle of the web, seemingly looking at an overly large lump of silk in the silken threads. Harry looked around the grounds and found no footprints to indicate anyone was or had been there. He looked up and didn't see anything.
'Could she be buried in the snow?' He asked himself. He made his way closer to the spider web and started nudging the snow with his shoes. Finally, after insuring himself she was not there and after a chill set in, he gave up the search and figured the map must be in error. As he turned to leave, his leg brushed up against the web and a portion of it attached itself to his pant leg, along with an overly large, silk-wrapped beetle. Harry wiped the map and made his way back to the Gryffindor common room to await the love of his life to awaken and share his day with him.
Ron awoke in an extremely bad mood. Remembering the previous evening, he was outraged that his so called best friend had sabotaged Ron's night as he did. Obviously he had got some kind of glamor charm done on Hermione.
'Hermione, look like that? Get real,' the redheaded champion thought. 'Then Harry scaring away Victor Krum like that. Just when he was going to agree to let me help him clean his wand. Heck, he might have even shown me how he cleans his broomstick. I wonder if Krum carries his own balls with him. I should ask him. If he does, maybe he'll show them to me,' Ron thought before continuing his mental tirade against Harry for some time. 'And I never did get my dessert,' he thought and then got up to go to breakfast.
Victor Krum awoke aboard his ship. He had only slept an hour or so since him and Luna had spent the night searching for the Snorkack in the forbidden forest. They didn't have any luck, but it had been fun. He looked in the mirror and saw the red marks up and down his neck. He remembered he had accidentally stepped under a mistletoe when they had returned from their endeavor and Luna had insisted the only way to insure the safe removal of Nargles was via oral suction to the neck. She had spent over an hour insuring all of the Nargles were safely removed. Krum looked again in the mirror. 'I'm glad I was with an expert in Nargles. No telling what might have happened otherwise.'
When Hermione awoke the next morning, the scent of fresh cut roses was lapping at her sense of smell. It brought back memories of the previous night. The Great Hall, the music, dancing in Harry's arms and the stroll in the garden. Outside of the issue with the Beauxbatons champion, it had been perfect. Even that occurrence just proved to Hermione how much her boyfriend loved her. She stretched and as she opened her eyes. She saw the roses. On the table beside her bed was a vase where at least two dozen red roses were sitting amongst some baby breaths. Each rose was opened to perfection. Hermione smiled as she gazed upon the flowers. 'I have the perfect boyfriend,' she thought.
When she descended the steps a short time later carrying one of the roses in her hand, she found that perfect boyfriend waiting in a chair for her. She sat down on his lap and proceeded to show her boyfriend just how perfect she thought he was.
"I loved the flowers, Harry," she said when they came up for air a few minutes later. "And I loved last night. It was perfect."
He found the almond colored eyes gazing into his own to be quite perfect in themselves. "I'm glad you liked the flowers. I hope you don't mind that I had Dobby deliver them." He shrunk a little as he expected her to possibly explode about the use of a house elf for the task.
"You promised to pay him, didn't you?" Hermione asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes, I told him I'd give him a galleon to arrange the roses I picked and deliver them," Harry replied.
"You picked the roses?"
"Yes love," Harry replied as his arms wrapped tighter around the woman in his lap. "I remembered the roses in the garden last night. I figured that once they remove the warming charm, they'll die anyway, so you deserved the beauty of them."
"Have I mentioned how much I love you this morning, Harry?" Hermione asked, and again proceeded to demonstrate the love that she felt in a lip to lip demonstration.
When they were again forced to surface due to lack of air intake, Harry remembered what he had seen that morning. "Something strange was going on with the Marauder's map this morning," Harry said. "I saw Rita Skeeter's name outside the castle, but when I went to look, she wasn't there." He pulled out the map to show Hermione and once he activated it, he looked where he saw Rita earlier. "Oh, she's gone now. When I went to where the map said she was earlier, she wasn't there."
"Maybe she was under an invisibility cloak or disillusioned," Hermione suggested thoughtfully.
"I don't think so. There were no footprints and I thought she might have been under the snow, so I prodded around the area to make sure."
"I don't know then. Buried under the ground?"
"Uh… I hope not. But if she was, could she be dead now?"
"I used to hate her, but she's been pretty good to you this year. The comments about your kissing skills were not needed, though I will admit they were spot on because you, Mister Potter, are an excellent kisser."
"Well, you're not so bad yourself, Miss Granger," Harry replied. He looked again at the map to look for Hermione Granger sitting on top of Harry Potter and noticed a third name seemingly sitting on him as well. Harry leapt to his feet, barely keeping Hermione from falling to the ground.
"What is it?" Hermione asked perplexed as Harry was walking all around the room while looking at the map.
"It's Rita. She's following me or something," Harry said and showed Hermione the map. She held onto it and, as Harry wandered around the common room, Rita stayed right with him the whole time.
"Wait Harry, stand still," Hermione said and started examining Harry closely. When she got to his pants leg, she noticed the silk wrapped bug that was attached to the remnant of a spider web. "Was there a spider web where the map said Rita was this morning?"
"Yeah, how did you know that?" Harry asked.
"I think I might have found Rita."
Harry looked down suddenly. "What do you mean?"
"I think I found out how she gets all of her news as well." Hermione said as she carefully detached the silk bundle. She took it over to a table and laid it gently on the surface. Thinking quickly, she ran up to her dorm and grabbed the small knife from her potions kit and returned to the common room. Very carefully, she cut away the silk leaving a fat beetle. Looking closely, she noticed markings around the antennae that matched the awful glasses the reporter wore. "See those markings? Do they remind you of Rita Skeeter's glasses?"
"They do, don't they?" Harry responded.
"I think Rita is an unregistered Animagus," Hermione said. "Here." She handed the beetle to Harry. "Walk over there and I'll see if it moves on the map."
Harry walked across the room, and Hermione saw the dot marked Rita Skeeter go with him. "Now, set it down and come back. I want to make sure it's not something else on you." Harry did as his girlfriend asked and Hermione saw the dot stay in the place Harry had left the beetle. "It's her, alright."
"So what do we do now? Would the spider have poisoned her?" Harry asked.
"Possibly. Maybe we should take her to Professor McGonagall so she can be sent to St. Mungo's."
But just as she was saying that, the beetle started moving. It reached out a leg and then another. "We know that it's you, Rita," Hermione said. And a few seconds later, the reporter from the Daily Prophet was standing in front of them. Unnoticed by the reporter, a small pad fell to the ground beside her.
"How did I get away?"
"Harry saved you, Rita. It seems you were caught by a spider."
Rita spun to look at Harry. "How many of those monsters did you have to fight? Are you injured? How can I ever thank you?"
"Fight what?" Harry asked, looking perplexed.
"The Acromantulas of course!"
"It was just a spider, nothing of any importance," Harry started, but Hermione had picked up the pad Rita had dropped and, since it was a book of sorts, couldn't help but open it. She realized it was the notes Rita had been taking. Coming across one of them, she exclaimed, "You are not writing anything bad about Hagrid!"
"But dear, he is a half giant. Parents need to know the dangers their children face at this school." Rita explained like she was talking to a four year old.
"Hagrid dangerous?" Harry asked incredulously.
Hermione had been scanning the notes Rita had taken concerning Hagrid. "A bite from a flobberworm? You've got to be kidding! They don't even have teeth. Oh, of course. It was Draco Malfoy who told you that."
"Hagrid was my first friend in the magical world, Miss Skeeter." Harry said. "Look, I would appreciate it if you wouldn't write that article."
"Besides," Hermione warned. "You might not want any stories where you quote Draco after the incident last night." Hermione remembered the story that was blazing around the Great Hall at the beginning of the Ball.
"What about Mister Malfoy? He comes from a very influential family."
"Well according to rumors…" Hermione told the reporter about the story of Draco and Professor Snape. "I think it was said a couple of his friends, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle, were the ones who witnessed it."
Rita Skeeter was already polishing her award for the story of the son of one of the most prominent families having a sexual relationship with a Professor at Hogwarts, in a corridor no less. She turned to Hermione. "Didn't Mister Malfoy just become betrothed to a Miss Bulstrode?"
"I do believe so," Hermione responded. "Maybe you should go investigate it."
"I'll do that, and," Rita looked at Harry, "can I write the article on Hagrid in a friendlier tone, talking about his friendship with you?"
"That would be fine," Harry replied. "I look forward to reading it."
"Excellent!" Rita replied, also planning a story on Harry's daring rescue of a certain reporter from that Acromantula. She knew he would never admit to it, so she would just write it as she felt it occurred. 'Just a spider? That boy is just too modest.'
Luna Lovegood woke the next morning after the Yule Ball with a smile on her face. Though she didn't find the Snorkack again, she never realized just how much fun it was to remove Nargles. No wonder her father was smiling so much when Luna found him curing her mum's Nargle infestation when she was seven. 'I just hope I don't get bitten by a Snorkack when I find one. The anti-venom injections appear to be painful,' the blonde Ravenclaw thought.
'At least it seemed that way by the way Mum was crying out when Father was administering her cure. At least she understood the importance of the injections as she kept telling him not to stop.' She turned her thoughts back to Nargles. 'I wonder if I can get Victor under another mistletoe today?' She asked herself.
Two days later, Harry and Hermione were sitting in the Great Hall, enjoying breakfast as they fed each other Eggs Benedict, when the Daily Prophet was delivered. There were two sets of side by side pictures. The first set had Draco Malfoy and Professor Snape and the other had Ron Weasley and Professor Trelawney. The headline read:
SEX SCANDAL ROCKS HOGWARTS
It has come to this reporter's attention that there are not one, but two ongoing relationships between students and teachers at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Recently on the night of the Yule Ball, it was discovered by this reporter that Draco Malfoy, the only child of prominent wizard Lucius Malfoy, was engaged in a sexual act in a public corridor with none other than his Potions Professor and Head of Slytherin House Severus Snape. The two lovers were discovered by two friends of young Malfoy, Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe. "It was awful," Goyle told me. "Snape was under Malfoy calling for Draco to perform sex on him. Vincent and I left the corridor immediately."
The other incident occurred at the Yule Ball itself. I witnessed the Professor of Divinations, Sibyll Trelawney, on the arm of the fourth Triwizard Champion, Ronald Bilius Weasley. The two seemed to be happy until the young professor became nauseous and had to admit herself to the hospital wing. Sources indicate that she was suffering from morning sickness.
I call upon the Headmaster of the school, Albus Dumbledore, to investigate these occurrences with the utmost vigor and bring a standard of integrity back to the school over which he administers.
Madam Pomfrey was sitting at the head table and had just finished reading the article. She slammed down her cup of pumpkin juice while muttering under her breath, "I said she would be fine in the morning, not that she had morning sickness."
Draco Malfoy was sitting next to his betrothed who was reading the Daily Prophet. When she finished the article, she turned to her fiancé. "How could you, Draco?" Millicent asked. "How could you betray me like this?"
"What... what do you mean?" Draco asked, confused since Millicent never let him read the Prophet anymore.
"You and Professor Snape before the Yule Ball! You were supposed to be going to the hospital wing and now I find out you're sleeping with our Head of House."
"WHAT!" Draco exclaimed.
"I didn't know you were bisexual, Draco," Millicent said. "Though I guess I should have known from all the hair care products you used to wear."
"I'm not bisexual!" Draco exclaimed.
"You're GAY?" Millicent yelled at him. "How can you be marrying me when you're GAY!"
"I'm…" Draco stopped and looked at his plate as he thought. 'Could this be a way out of the marriage? I just tell her I'm gay and she breaks up with me. No one else is around us to hear it. I'll just deny everything later.'
Millicent was ticked. Her betrothed had betrayed her! All of her dreams were crashing down around her. And then she remembered the contract and the Slytherin in her came out to play. She brought her wand up and pointing it at Draco while he wasn't looking, and whispered, "Sonorous."
Draco looked back at her and his magically enhanced whisper filled the Great Hall, "I ADMIT IT. I'M GAY. I'VE BEEN SLEEPING WITH PROFESSOR SNAPE."
Millicent got up from her seat and stormed out of the Great Hall while the laughter started ringing around the room as Draco realized what had just happened as he slumped in his seat and dropped his head onto the table where it came to rest in a the heavy maple syrup he had recently put on his waffles.
At the head table, a greasy head of hair attached to the head of Professor Snape was rotating to look in the direction of Gryffindor table. "POTTER! I know it was you! Detention EVERY night until you leave this school after your seventh year and eight hundred points from Gryffindor!"
Professor McGonagall had a look of disgust as she was forced to look over at her colleague... er… coworker… er… at the idiot who taught Potions. "Severus, it was your own students who gave witness, not Mister Potter. Don't be blaming someone from my house for your indiscretions." She turned to the Slytherin table. "Mister Goyle, Mister Crabbe, fifty points each for telling the truth and bringing the matter to the proper attention." She then looked over at Harry. "Of course you will not serve those detentions, Mister Potter, nor will the points be removed." Finally she turned to the Headmaster. "I presume you will be investigating these accusations?"
Albus Dumbledore, leader of the light and Headmaster of the school had been deep in thought wondering if he should braid his beard. After all, he did have his tea later that day with Alastor. He had nearly decided on trying a French braid this time when he was rudely interrupted by his Deputy Headmistress. "Investigate what, Minerva?"
"Severus' sexual activity with young Draco. Didn't you hear Mister Malfoy yell out earlier confirming it?"
"I'm sorry, but I was busy contemplating very serious issues," Headmaster Dumbledore said before he then turned his twinkling eyes on his potions master. "Severus, you shouldn't do things like that. Don't let it happen again. Or at least don't get caught again." Sitting back in his chair, the aged wizard felt proud for dealing with the situation so firmly. 'After all, I need Severus for the Greater Good.' His thoughts turned back to his beard. 'Maybe a Dutch braid?'
McGonagall just shook her head in disbelief. Turning back to the Headmaster one more time she asked, "And what about Sibyl? She might be carrying Ron Weasley's child."
Madam Pomfrey spoke up at this time. "Sybil is not carrying Mister Weasley's child; I can assure you of that."
"Are you sure, Poppy? This is a serious issue." McGonagall asked.
"I'm quite sure, Minerva. I examined Sibyl just last evening and it wasn't morning sickness."
The noise in the Great Hall had continued to rise as people were once again discussing Draco Malfoy being gay, causing the conversation between Minerva and Poppy to continue to increase in volume.
"So she was in the hospital wing? What was she suffering from?" Minerva asked.
Ron Weasley was at that moment reading the article. He had started several minutes prior, but he still had trouble reading those things where multiple sentences were strung together and called paragraphs. Therefore, it took him longer to finish. When he finally finished, he exclaimed, "That two-timing bitch! I give her the best evening of her life and she's carrying someone else's child?" As he finished that rant, he looked over at Harry and Hermione who had gone back to feeding each other and laughing at something shared only between themselves.
The whole Hall went silent as everyone turned to look at Ron. That is, everyone but Poppy who was replying overly loudly to Minerva to be heard over the din. "SHE WAS SUFFERING FROM NAUSEA CAUSED BY SEEING RON WEASLEY'S ARSE."
The Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws were having a hard time swiveling their necks and laughing at Draco on one side of the Great Hall and Ron Weasley on the other side. Many of them ended up in the hospital wing with sore necks.
Lucius Malfoy sat back in his chair as he finished reading the Daily Prophet and tried to remember who would inherit their fortune if Draco didn't have an heir. 'Gay? My son is gay?' He looked over at his stash of Firewhisky. 'Six bottles left; I'm going to need more after today.'
He thought of going up and asking Narcissa if it would be possible to have another child, but her words from their wedding night came back to him.
"IF YOU EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN, I WILL PERSONALLY CAST SEVERING CHARMS ON ANY PART OF YOU EVEN REMOTELY CONNECTED TO REPRODUCTION AND SHOVE WHAT COMES OFF WHERE THE SUN DOES NOT SHINE!"
Lucius had always considered himself lucky that they did conceive that night, but with the latest revelations concerning his son, he started reconsidering. No, he definitely would not ask Narcissa. He knew she even kept an extremely sharp knife in the bedside drawer just in case she couldn't find her wand.