Yule Say Cheese!
by Farseeker and Obake

Snapshot 1: Freedom

Colin’s fingers drummed on the camera that hung from a strap about his neck in excited anticipation. In just a few moments, the entire population of Hogwarts school would storm through the doors to the Great Hall in all their splendid and often ridiculous regalia, to celebrate the second Yule Ball in the school’s history.

Professor Flitwick and Hagrid were adding the finishing touches to the Hall’s decoration, and said touches were apparently generating a heated discussion. Colin snapped his camera idly at the Santa’s-head lanterns overheard and at the Thaums’ roadie setting up instruments on the impromptu stage, trying to eavesdrop without being caught and sent away.

He didn’t have a date, but that was all right—he had his camera.

‘I jus’ don’t know,’ Hagrid was saying. ‘They’ve got a whole lot o’ magic piled in the pumpkins already, Professor; I don’t think they’d be able to hold...’

‘Nonsense, nonsense, man. Look, it’s only a small charm. It can’t possibly do any harm, and the children would be so happy—’

‘All right, but if there’re fireworks—’

Flitwick stamped his pointed shoe. ‘That’s the point, Hagrid! On the stroke of midnight—bang! Boom! Kapow!’

‘I said all right! But I’m not cleaning the mess up.’ The half-giant strode away to help the roadie with a massive drum kit, muttering under his breath.

‘Right,’ Flitwick said, positioning himself beneath the central lantern. Colin edged closer as the Charms professor raised his wand, and lifted his camera to capture the moment, whatever it may be. ‘Anima media nox—incendio!’

A stream of blue bubbles, each holding a tiny red flame, spurted from the tip of Flitwick’s wand and shot towards the lantern with a mean-edged speed that bubbles really oughtn’t have. They passed through the left carved eye-slot, and there was series of ringing thuds as they impacted with the glass of the lantern inside—and shot back out through a hole in St Nicholas’s red cap. Flitwick and Colin looked on in dismay as the spell ricocheted off the enchanted ceiling and headed back downwards, making a beeline for Colin. With a terrified squeak, he raised his hands—still holding the camera—to fend off the aggressive stream.

The bubbles thudded against the camera’s casing, and...stopped. Or rather, they floated around the device as though unsure of what to do next, knocking against one another. Slowly, one melted into another, which melted into the next, and so on, until a single enormous bubble had formed around the camera. The membrane, whatever it was made of, felt sticky around Colin’s hands. Then, with a schloop, it imploded into the camera.

It began to jiggle in Colin’s hands, and he dropped it, trembling himself. The camera bounced against his chest for a second, then began to climb up him. No, that was wrong. The strap about Colin’s neck was shrinking, and he began to cough and gargle as he fought to pull the thing off him. He tried to ignore the squeaky swearwords ringing in his ears—who were they coming from anyway? He wasn’t speaking and neither was Flitwick; the poor little man was staring open-mouthed at Colin—and the pressure on his shoulders and ears, which felt suspiciously like tiny hands and feet fighting against him. The strap was twisted, tight, but he managed to edge it over his chin—his nose—with a snap it fell away, and Colin was free. Likewise the camera; it tumbled to the floor at his feet.

The swearing stopped. Colin breathed a sigh of relief. Slowly, the camera seemed to unfold from the heap it had collapsed into. Two long, gangly arms and legs appeared, and it seemed to be wearing a top hat above the button. The strap had become a pair of suspenders holding up a pair of blue shorts.

‘This is impossible...’ Colin murmured weakly. The Camera turned to face him and the shutter clicked open.

‘What’s impossible? Me? Don’t see what’s so impossible about it. You do magic everyday, turn one thing into another and basically screw around with the laws of physics and whatnot, so why can’t I gain a proper life? About time, too. I am so sick of being dragged around by you! Let’s take a picture of that tree! CLICK! Let’s take a picture of that table; it’s got an interesting hole in it! CLICK! Look there’s Mr. Famous Harry Potter himself! CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! Why not take pictures of the food or some empty classrooms while you’re at it? Why can’t you do something interesting? You could get Ginny to pose in a sexy little satin number or take a picture of that Slytherin blonde guy who everyone thinks is sexy but never says anything because he’s a damn prick! But no, we have to take pictures of normal things! You...you mediocre excuse for a wizard!’

Professor Flitwick sat down on the floor, staring. ‘Oh dear.’

The doors of the Great Hall burst open. The school populace came pouring in, chattering and giggling. The Camera turned to face the gaggle, the equivalent of an evil grin gracing its shutter for a moment. Colin looked absolutely mortified.


Snapshot 2: Ginny’s Sexy Little Satin Number

After getting over his initial shock, Flitwick took action by chasing the Camera around the room in a general attempt to recover and contain it. He gave up when the Camera reached the point of running between his legs and snapping a picture of him bending over and glaring at it upside down. Flitwick retired to the massive couch at the end of the room; originally intended for students who had danced or drunk themselves to exhaustion—to plot his next offensive or merely to sulk; the Camera didn’t really care which. It had much more interesting things to do.

The Potter entourage was mostly gathered near the laden tables. Colin’s Camera had a good many scores to settle with that group; it had wasted more films on them than it cared to count and tonight was payback time.

Not all were there, though. Potter himself was absent, and he was the largest thorn in the Camera’s photographic pride. Not photogenic at all, with that scruffy mop atop his head and the silly round glasses. The number of negatives Colin had wasted on him was an injustice to the world, especially since the boy wasn’t ever actually doing anything worth photographing in them.

So the Camera scurried across the room, passing right through the Bloody Baron who was arguing with Nearly-Headless Nick over his right to taunt first-years. It slid under the table to bide its time, and to eavesdrop. At least Colin had a few good habits.

‘How much longer is Harry going to be with Pavarti?’

‘He owes her another dance, Ron. Then you can talk Quidditch to your heart’s content.’

‘Hey, Herm, I want to dance with you too. Anyway, I don’t think we’ll get much out of him tonight—wow, look at Seamus and Cho go! Ow! What was that for?’

‘It’s not polite to ogle someone else’s girlfriend, especially when you’re tied up yourself. Now pass me the hors d’Oeuvres, please.’

The Camera sniggered under the table.

‘I still don’t understand why they’re going together if they’re not going out,’ came another, slightly younger voice.

‘Look, it’s quite simple, Ginny—yuck, Hermione, don’t try to talk with your mouth full. Here, have some more. Now, the thing is, Pavarti likes being seen with him. Boy Who Lived and everything, I bet she’s hoping for a Skeeter article. It means he doesn’t have to come to the Ball alone and after a few dances they can go their merry ways. Besides, you can talk. You’re not going out with Neville.’

‘That’s…different. Hermione, could you pass me a glass of Butterbeer? Thank you. Hi, Harry. Good dance?’

‘Pavarti liked it. Ah, Butterbeer. My saviour.’

The Camera glanced at the lengthy skirt and deep blue shoes that were, from this vantage point, Ginny. Its shutter widened in an imitation of a smile. She really was wearing satin.

‘Come on, Gin. Why’d you go out with him, really. You could have had your pick this year.’


The Camera allowed itself a small giggle. It could hear her blushing.

‘You like him, don’t you?’ Hermione didn’t bother to hide her amusement.


A peal of laughter rang out; Ron’s from what the Camera could surmise. ‘Neville? You actually like—ow, Mione, stop kicking me! Ginny, surely you’re not serious! He’s a terrible dancer for a start, stutters all the time—‘

‘He does not!’

‘He does and you know it. And his idea of romance is a day spent out in the grounds weeding!’

‘Collecting specimens! And sometimes it’s nice to see thought being put into the bouquet!’

‘Come on…’

One of the blue shoes stamped imperiously on the ground. ‘Neville is a great big hunk of burning love! I don’t know why the rest of you can’t see it.’

For a moment there was complete silence from the group. Then the Camera heard Harry’s voice, utterly serious: ‘Have you been into Snape’s cupboards, Ginny? Because I know for a fact he keeps a bunch of love potions.’

‘Fine. He’s a medium-sized spark of love.’

More silence. The Camera snorted into its hand.

A sigh from on high. ‘Cho’s really stunning tonight, isn’t she?’

‘Have another drink, Harry.’

‘I’m serious. I really am.’

Ron chuckled. ‘We know, Ginny. That’s what’s so unbelievable.’

Ginny ground her teeth together. ‘Neville is a red-hot ember of love, all right? Can you live with that? I’m going to find him now, and drag him out, and—and we’ll dance longer than any of you!’

The skirt and shoes swept away as the clock above the doors struck eight o’clock. The Camera sighed. It would have liked to have got to know that little satin number better.

Someone else sighed above it. ‘You know, as much as I like Butterbeer, there’s just not enough kick in it. Ron, pass me the rum balls. Winky made them, I can trust her taste.’

The Camera chose its moment carefully; estimated the focus range and depth of field…it rolled out from under the table just in time to see Harry cramming a handful of rum balls into his mouth, lifting a full glass of Butterbeer to follow.

Perhaps the boy wasn’t completely un-photogenic after all.


Snapshot 3: The Prick’s Ho

The Camera left the Potter table after a few more happy snaps of The Boy Wonder. It mingled, dodged various feet and had a sip of some butterbeer. It truly couldn’t understand how the assembled teens could drink the stuff—it gave the Camera hiccups. Eventually it stumbled across Draco, who was in the process of getting dead drunk.

‘You’re downing that stuff almost as fast as the Potter boy,’ the Camera sniggered to Draco, who glanced down at it and sniffed.

‘I’m not. I know how to pace myself.’

‘Right. You just have a very fast pace.’

‘Yes. Very fast, that’s me.’ Draco said muzzily, and glanced down at it again. ‘What are you?’

The Camera looked about for a second, and stabbed one finger in the direction of Colin, who had just tripped over Lavender Brown’s lengthy skirt. ‘His constant companion.’

Draco frowned, obviously trying to work this out. He glanced again at the Camera, then peered more closely, then sniffed again. ‘Oh. The camera.’ He emptied another glass of Butterbeer. ‘Well, go away. I don’t want to be seen near a contraption that’s had the hands of Potter’s fan all over it, endless pictures of Potter wrung out of it, and obvioushly has Potter’s clothes in tashte. Verry bad...thingo...’

‘You’re beginning to slur. Did you know that? I thought you should know that. And I hate Potter. That’s why I left Creevey.’

Draco tried to glare at the Camera, but gave up when his eyes refused to focus properly. ‘Shod off, Snappy, or I’ll crack your lens and glue you to...wossname...Potter-fan’s arm.’ Another sniff. ‘Probably just an ‘maginashon of my figment anyway.’

The Camera watched him upend another glass. ‘How many of those have you had?’

Draco’s lips moved in painstaking calculation. ‘`Bout...twenny?’

‘And you can still coherently insult and threaten? With no hiccups?’ The shutter widened in joy. ‘We must be kindred spirits or something!’

‘Bye, ‘maginashony-figment.’

The Camera heard Draco swear as his foot connected with its edge, and it was booted several metres across the floor. It got up, brushed itself off and glared back at Draco, who was nursing his sore foot. ‘Yeah. Right. Just what I would’ve done. Kindred spirits.’

The camera wandered around, and eventually gravitated towards the raised platform the band was on. It performed the camera equivalent of a wince—and nearly broke it’s shutter in doing so—at the sound, before deciding to do something about it.

‘Why don’t you stop your caterwauling and join the rest of us? Maybe you’ll sing better when you’re drunk!’ It bellowed, glaring up at the lead singer.

The singer glanced down and rolled his eyes.

‘I’m being paid for this job and I will sing, now go away you annoying camera thing!’ He trilled, leaning down and jabbing a hand at the object of his attention. Behind the camera a pair of young witches squealed and fainted.

‘Look at those two poor things! They fainted in horror!’ The camera yelled back.

‘Indeed, in horror of your awful countenance! This is your penance and comeuppance!’

At this point Dean wandered over, and began to click his fingers as the insults continued to fly.

‘You know,’ He observed thoughtfully to Seamus as the Irish boy joined him, ‘I really like this song.’

‘Look, are you going to keep that racket up all night or what?’

‘Dead right, all night, uh-uh, whoa...yeah!’

‘Madness,’ the Camera muttered. Right on cue, Pansy Parkinson elbowed her way between Seamus and Dean, quill and album cover in hand.

‘Get lost! I want an autograph!’

Seamus and Dean glowered at Pansy, then glanced at each other, quickly reaching the same decision. They advanced on her—

The entire room fell silent at the solemn bellow that rose from the other end of the room: ‘Zeh ha peena sheli, zona!’

Everyone looked about to find the source of the shout. Draco raised his glass to the crowd and threw it back. In the sudden quiet, a bewildered Hagrid wandered over to the couch and sat down. No one heard Flitwick’s muffled squeak as the Weasley twins, shaking with drunken laughter in the opposite corner, yelled back: ‘Zeh ha peena sheli, zona!’

‘Wow,’ Pansy whispered as Draco answered back. ‘I never knew Draco spoke Hebrew...’

The Camera squinted up at her. ‘You know what he’s saying?’

She sniffed. ‘I’m the daughter of the Magical Foreign Relations Minister. Of course I do!’

‘Yeah, right...look, is there a cold going around in the dungeons or something?’ The Camera edged away nervously.

Pansy glared down at it. ‘What are you talking about?’

‘Nothing, nothing. So what are they saying?’

By now something of a verbal tennis match had commenced, which most of the room had chosen to ignore—particularly Hagrid, who was apologising profusely to Professor Flitwick for sitting on him. Pansy’s brow creased before she began to translate: ‘This is my corner, ho! This is my corner, ho! My corner, ho! Corner, ho! Ho! Ho! Ho—what is so amusing?’

The Camera picked itself up off the floor, still snorting sporadically. It took a deep breath and shrieked, ‘Who’s the hoe?!’

Hagrid sat back down as silence engulfed the room again. Even Draco and the twins looked slightly startled out of their stupor. The Bloody Baron flew up a few feet to search for the offender, knocking Nearly-Headless Nick into the punch as he did so. Above the doors, the clock struck nine. By the second chime, the Camera had disappeared into the crowd to get the perfect vantage point for portraits of the twins (still aghast); Draco (shrugging it all off with another drink); and Hagrid, on his knees before a huffy Flitwick, promising to make up for it all with the next dance.


Snapshot 4: To Drown a Serpent

The Camera found itself grudgingly conceding that this school did hold a great many photography opportunities. Not that it wasn’t doing a far better job than Colin could ever hope for, mind. But between taking choice memories of Professor Dumbledore and Professor Sinistra as they exchanged a conjured bouquet that began to wilt as soon as it left the Headmaster’s hand and an extra-large box of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, trying to insult the Thaums’ singer into speaking, and laughing at Flitwick’s tiny form clinging to Hagrid for dear life as they whirled about the Great Hall, it began to see the reason for the boy’s over-awed obsessiveness.

The Camera found itself nearing the raised platform again, only to be knocked over by Hagrid’s great boot as he came twirling part. Before it could get up again it was swept up in a familiar satin skirt. After a brief flash of blue satin and stockings the Camera managed to struggle out of the material tent, blushing faintly but also wearing a smug, satisfied smirk. It quickly scurried away to the relative safety of a table, and began to put into practice the noble art of eavesdropping.

‘It’s sad really, isn’t it? All theshe, theshe men around here but no real lookers...’ The familiar voice of McGonagall sighed.

‘That’s right, shister. Pity we aren’t young again...there’s quite a few in the gen-gen...main shtudent body.’


‘What? Think that jusht cause I spend all my time in a tower I don’t know a cutie when I shee one? That’s, that’s pred-pred...what’s the word again? I forgot...Oh...biased. That’s what you are...biashed.’

‘Hmmm...you know, if Shnape bothered to wash his hair once in a while he wouldn’t look half-good.’

‘You mean half-bad?’

‘No...half-good. Same thing, ain’t it?’

‘I can’t remember. You’d never manage to convinshe him to do it though. I think he uses the grease to shine his cauldrons...’

‘Who said we’d be convincing him? Why don’t we...what’s the phrase? Oh yes...take him by force...’

There was the faint rustling of cloth against cloth, and the Camera chanced a peek out. The two sottish women were heading towards their target with two buckets full of soapy water that they had somehow acquired, and both were giggling quietly. The Camera turned to focus on the man they were heading towards. He was sitting at an isolated table resting his head on folded hands and looking thoroughly put out. The Camera decided to take pity on the man, and opened it’s shutter to shout out a warning. It was too late though, and the two sodding drunk women had dumped the buckets of water over the Professor. He gave an almighty shout and jumped to his feet, the suds dripping from him and the two female professors promptly burst into a fit of hysterical giggles. He narrowed his eyes at them.

‘If you do not apologise and cease this idiotic display right now I’ll transfigure you both into bars of soap and use you!’ He growled, pulling himself up haughtily. Professor Trelawney blinked muggily at him.

‘Earlier this evening I foresaw myself rubbing up against your wet skin,’ she proclaimed, taking a step towards him and smiling in what she obviously thought was a seductive manner. The Potions Master turned a sickly shade of green and staggered away from them, drying himself with a quick word as he did so. Perhaps because of the noise of the clock striking ten--more probably because of the awful mental pictures caused by Trelawney’s remark—Professor McGonagall seemed to have snapped out of her stupor for a moment, and was glaring at Professor Trelawney.

‘What do you think you’re doing? He’s mine!’

‘Is not! I saw him first!’

‘How could you have? I’ve been here far longer than you, and I was here when he first took on the job!’

‘Exactly! You’re so old he’d probably die if he saw you naked!’

‘Why you...!’

The Camera ran towards them and positioned itself quickly, closing it’s shutter just as McGonagall dived at Professor Trelawney and grabbed a handful of her hair. Yes, this school had definite potential...


Snapshot 5: The Drunkenness of a Harry Scorned

After taking several pictures featuring McGonagall, Trelawney and several handfuls of hair, the camera wandered on. Harry had decided to make a move on Cho, and was attempting to explain to her who Terry Pratchett was.

‘You mean you really don’t, don’t know who Terry Pratshett is? You purebloods sure have missed out on a lot...’

‘What are you talking about, Harry?’

‘Terry Pratchett!’ Harry exclaimed, waving his arm about vaguely. ‘Damn good author, he is. Very funny.’ He stumbled slightly and almost collapsed. Cho sighed and pushed him away slightly.

‘I think Pavarti is looking for you, Harry,’ She said, pointing to a corner of the Great Hall. Harry squinted.

‘What’s she want?’ He murmured, heading off towards to direction Cho had pointed and forgetting all about Terry Pratchett. The Camera sniggered and began to follow the drunk Harry, foreseeing more opportunities for revenge on the unfortunate boy.

After several near-collapses Harry reached the corner he had been heading towards. Crabbe, Goyle and Draco looked up from the comfy chair they were seated in.

What do you want, Potter?’ Draco sneered, looking him up and down. With great effort Harry managed to pull himself up to his full height and even took a shot at looking dignified.

‘May I have this dance, Pavarti?’ He inquired, holding his hand out to Draco. After a few minutes the general concept of what was happening filtered into Crabbe’s brain. He sniggered.

‘Heh...Draco?’ He said, a fair attempt at a cunning expression trying for a moment to appear on his face before it gave up and went to bother someone else.

‘What, Crabbe?’ Draco snapped, still staring in disbelief at Harry.

‘Heh...I dare you.’

Draco gaped at Crabbe, and then at Harry.

‘Oh no. No way. Not with him, there’s no way I’m dancing with him!’ Draco protested.

‘What’s the matter, Draco? Chicken?’ Goyle asked, having managed to catch up on recent events. Draco glared at him for a moment before sniffing, standing up and giving Harry his hand, all the while glaring at Crabbe and Goyle. This was no mean feat, as they were both now behind him. Harry bowed, and the fates decided that it would be fun to make the band begin a slow waltz number.

The Camera circled around the two boys as they danced, watching as Draco slowly returned to the unpleasant world of sobriety between the odd glances he was receiving, the loud sniggering of Crabbe and Goyle, and Harry treading on his toes. The Camera took a few ‘happy snaps’ of the pair, joining Crabbe and Goyle in the sniggering department. After a few minutes of this Harry eventually gave in to the liquor clouding his brain and fell asleep, leaning awkwardly on Draco’s shoulder. The Camera snickered as it watched Draco cast about desperately for someone who would be willing to help him. Eventually his gaze fell on Pansy.

‘Pansy!’ He hissed. The Camera watched the girl’s eyes widen as she turned and spotted the hapless Draco.

‘What, Draco?’ She said coldly.

‘Kill him and dispose of the body,’ Draco said, shrugging the shoulder that Harry was leaning on, ‘And I’ll marry you.’

Pansy gaped. ‘Running back to me now are you, Draco darling? Think I’m stupid enough to kill and get rid of the evidence of your little fling and just come running back? Well not this girl, Malfoy! We’re finished!’ With that she turned and flounced away. Draco blinked.

‘I wasn’t aware we had started in the first place,’ he muttered, before shifting Harry off his shoulder and moving the two of them to a pair of chairs. Draco collapsed in one and Harry half fell, half slumped in the other. After a moment his head fell onto Draco’s shoulder. The Camera sniggered as Harry began to drool.

‘Ugh...’ Draco said, disgust evident in both his voice and features. Harry chose this moment to awaken. He gazed at Draco muzzily for a moment, before he recognised him. He squinted his eyes into what the Camera believed he thought was a glare.

‘What are you doing here, Malfoy?’ He demanded, shock managing to make his wording clear. Draco stared at him for a moment, before smirking. Maybe it was because the Camera and Draco were, indeed, kindred spirits, or maybe it was just the similarities of their personalities. Whatever it was the Camera realised what Draco was going to say, and moved into position, focussing on the pair.

‘Why Harry, I’m hurt! After all, we’ve just shared a dance...’

An expression of pure horror and mortification crossed Harry’s face as the clock struck eleven.


Snapshot 6: When The Ectoplasm Hits the Fan

After listening to the ensuing argument between Harry and Draco, the Camera moved on, heading towards the food table. The feeling of hunger was very new, and it didn’t like it one bit. After grabbing a chicken leg and trying unsuccessfully to eat the meat it found out that it didn’t have any part that could function as a mouth. It grabbed a napkin off the table to clean its lens with and moved away from the area, planning on finding a nice quiet place to engage in a little quality time sulking. It was interrupted, however, by the bellowing of Nearly Headless Nick. It turned to see the ghost point it’s finger at the Bloody Baron.

‘I tell you, Sir, I was a man of noble blood! I challenge you to a duel, you Knave!’

The Baron gaped at the angry Gryffindor ghost for a moment, before sneering. ‘Challenge accepted!’ He said, drawing his sword. Sir Nicholas reached for his sword as well. An embarrassing grope ensued, before he laughed nervously.

‘I...uh...appear to have neglected to furnish myself with a weapon...’ He said, moving back from the advancing Slytherin ghost slowly. The Bloody Baron sniggered.

‘You know as well as I that once a challenge to a duel has been made and accepted it must be carried through until one concedes defeat, is disarmed or lies dead on the floor. As we are both already dead and you have no weapon to be separated from, do you concede?’

Sir Nicholas drew himself up to his full height. ‘I do not! I am not the Gryffindor house ghost for nothing!’ The Baron answered his speech with a swipe to the waist. Sir Nicholas grabbed on of the candlesticks on the table and raised it to block the blow.

‘Hah! If one is resourceful enough one can beat thou even without a blade!’ The candlestick-wielding Sir Nick cried, slipping into the olden tongue in his excitement.

‘Aye, but thou hast none of aforementioned resourcefulness, and as such will in the end yield to my wrath!’ The Baron bellowed, and began to move forward again, slashing wildly. Sir Nicholas De Mimsy Porpington managed to fend off every blow, and flourished his candlestick at the Baron.

‘Do you doubt my ability or heritage now, knave?’ he cried.

The answer came as a blow to his head. It passed through the candlestick and right through Sir Nicholas’ neck, severing the last sliver of skin joining his head to his body. It rolled onto the floor from the table, and the two ghosts gaped.

‘Go the Baron!’ Draco yelled. ‘Teach that idiot which house is boss!’

Sir Nicholas leant over and picked it up and slowly turned to face the Bloody Baron.

‘That was my head!’ He snarled, and threw it at the Slytherin representative. It hit the ghost in the middle and passed through, but not before it had knocked him over onto the table. Sir Nicholas picked his head up again and examined it, before bursting into tears.

‘This will take heaps of ectoplasm to repair!’ he wailed, before fleeing the Hall. The Camera quickly judged the distance and took the picture of Sir Nicholas fleeing, The Baron standing and dusting himself off, and Draco cheering for his House Ghost. Just as the button on the top of the Camera went down the clock struck twelve.


‘Oh, bugge—’

Snapshot 7: Normality; or, The Morning After

The next morning the Hogwarts community awoke to find themselves either sitting on or lying around the comfiest chair in the hall. Someone appeared to have had enough sense to perform and engorgement charm on it, and the majority of the people had managed to fit on it quite comfortably. Colin’s camera lay on the floor in front of them, and they were covered in photographs. After a few moments, Harry ventured a question.

‘What...happened last night? I seem to have some rather odd memories about dancing with—’ He glanced at Draco, and shuddered. ‘Eeew...’

‘And I can remember someone threatening to turn me into a bar of soap,’ Trelewny said, adjusting her glasses that were hanging half off her face. McGonagall paused for a moment before a look of realisation crossed her face and she sniggered. She stopped fairly quickly though as she ran a hand through her hair to find large clumps of it missing.

‘I do not believe that we will be indulging in a Yule Ball next year,’ Professor Dumbledore said calmly, whilst ripping up a picture of him offering Professor Sinistra a bouquet of wilted flowers. Professor Snape stood up, ran a hand through his surprisingly clean hair and, ignoring the girls gaping at him picked up Colin’s camera and broke it in half.

‘Well done, Professor Snape,’ Albus said, appearing to brighten up. The rest of the school population agreed, including Colin.

‘I think I’m going to give up photography,’ he said, crumpling a picture of him sprawled in front of Lavender Brown. An owl chose this moment to come flying in and dropped a feather into Sir Nicholas’ lap, which currently also held his still-severed head. He opened it and scanned through the contents before giving a whoop of joy.

‘What is it?’ Hermione asked. She appeared to be the only one that hadn’t been affected by the night before. Sir Nicholas looked at her, flourishing the letter proudly.

‘I’ve made it into the Headless Hunt!’


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