The top of the four poster bed bore the brunt of Harry's stare as he tried to bore through it with his own vision. The night before had been long spent on his attempts at studying. He had sworn to delve into his Potions and Transfiguration homework before the weekend so it all could be done and over with. Of course, that was his intension; but the appearance of a few Messrs. Weasley were enough to distract him from the ongoing fruitless attempts at labor with Quidditch, Gobstones, and not a little bit of batting and dodging Bludgers.
In the end, that had left him rather tired and unsuccessful in his efforts to try and study some more. Indeed, it was just the same as always; a day behind and needing to scramble and catch up on everything tonight. He was not looking forward to getting out of bed this morning. All the same, Harry knows that the inevitable is awaiting, although it's not enough to motivate him.
However, a roar of laughter and applause from the common room finally spurred his curiosity. "Who in the world is making that racket at this hour?" Swinging his legs out, Harry grabs his robes and sack of books before making sure that his wand has slid down in his pocket. Once satisfied that none of his notes had ended up in the dustbin (not that it'd matter with the house elves cleaning), he heads toward the doors and marches on down the stairs.
Of course, the moment he reaches the bottom of the stairs, he is met with a most incongruous sight. The Weasley twins, looking amazingly fresh and awake for all their activities last night, are in the middle of the common room grinning and posing in quite the ridiculous outfit. Looking around for Ron, Harry finds the youngest brother hiding in the corner and shaking his head. "Say, err… What are those two getting up to?"
"You really don't want to know, mate." Ron just shakes his head. "They tried to drag me into it as well. Cor, you see me getting dressed up in that outfit? Not going to happen! 'Sides, knowing them, they'd probably try and prank me while they were at it."
"But still, what are they doing?" Harry just shakes his head and looks as Fred points at Angelina and grins. "What got into them this time?"
"Just getting ready for tonight!" Fred spins around and grins at Harry. "Gotta keep it shaggadelic, baby!"
"Umm…" Harry backs away a little bit. "You two didn't mess up one of your potions, did you?"
"Not at all! We just got to make sure we got the mojo a'working again!" He spins around in place before flipping the ruffles of his collar up. "Don't you worry! We're making a special potion just for that."
"…Forget I even asked." Harry keeps backing away. "So, Ron, what exactly did get them started?" Harry can't help to watch as George starts strutting around, flashing a grin. "…You know, I don't think I remember their teeth looking that bad."
"Weasley's Wizard Wheezes Campy Chompers!" George laughs as Fred waves his wand at an old radio at the fireplace and some very odd, funky music starts playing. "Just what you need to make sure that your teeth are as bad as can be! A great hit with the ladies! " He holds forward a hand and opens it. "Want to try a pair?"
"No thanks." Harry just shakes his head and backs away. "…You know what? I think this might be a good day to head to class. Early."
"I think you're right—" Ron yelps as Fred grabs him under his arm. "Hey! What do you think you're doing, you blighter!"
"Just going to make sure that you stay here. We're going to need as many as we can get if we're going to make a statement." He starts dragging him over to the rest of the gang as Lee Jordan arrives down with a huge pile of pure ruffles for them to use.
"…Right…" Harry just shakes his head and turns to the portrait to head out. As he does, he notices a note stuck onto the board. It seems to barely manage to dangle from the drawing pin. He pauses and leans his head over to read what is on it.
Can You Help Me Bring Sexy Back?
Please come and help tonight
"…Huh. I guess that this is what it's about."
"So you found about them too?" Harry spins his head about. Hermione is standing there, frowning and just tapping her finger on her crossed arms. "It's a mess. Don't know what they think they're going to get away with. I've half a mind to try and dock points right now… Not that will stop them." She shakes her head as Fred frogmarches Ron up the stairs. Harry's other dorm mates try to squeeze by, but they get trapped in front of Fred and force back up the stairs. "I'm going to try and figure out who posted all of these things in the first place. The teachers are not going to let this stand."
"Well, so long as it doesn't get out of hand…" Harry looks back at the note and frowns. "…I think I've got an idea. I'm going to go and try to find them."
"Wait a second!" Hermione tries to grab at Harry's arm as he pushes open the portrait. "Who is it?"
"I need to check. Besides, you need to take care of the rest of everything here." As he speaks, George takes out his wand and a mote of light at the ceiling, and lights start dancing around. "…Yeah. You're a prefect; you can handle this." With that, Harry dashes out of the portrait.
The last thing he hears is another "Shaggadelic" followed by Hermione launching a silencing spell at the offending twin.
Hermione drops her bag on the desk as she finally pulls herself into the desk chair. Professor McGonagall looks down at the student as she tries to pull herself up in her seat. "You seem to be perturbed, Miss Granger."
"The Weasley twins are making a ruckus. I couldn't get them to stop this time." She shakes her head. "They got a crazy idea in their head after someone posted a note on the board."
"Oh yes. That." McGonagall pinches her nose. "Bringing Sexy Back, was it?" Hermione's soon-mortified face turns upward to look at her professor in not a little bit of shock. "We are quite aware. Professor Sprout reported it this morning when her students started to prepare their own activities, but Albus decided to… allow us to let our hair down."
"Why would Professor Dumbledore…" Hermione pauses and shakes her head. "No, nevermind. But what of the rest of the class?" She looks around at all of the other empty seats. "…I thought Harry was…"
"I'm afraid we'll just have to continue the lesson." McGonagall turns around and marches to the side of her desk. "Observe the motion quite well, as you are the only one that remains present." The stiff professor removes her wand and, with a few swift flips, taps her own robe which begins to swirl about. "I suppose that we must all partake in the festivities, after all."
Hermione watches with a raised eyebrow as the robes swirl into a dress. "Err… Professor, I don't believe that it is a requirement for you to do as such." She continues to watch in confusion as the tie transforms into rather cheap looking jewelry and bangles appear on her wrists.
"But sometimes one must loosen up, I suppose." The professor continues to deadpan. "Such scandal. I cannot even imagine what scandal this will cause. Egads, I am showing a few inches of ankle."
"…Err…" Hermione pushes back, just a bit, in her seat. "Are you feeling well?"
"I am feeling quite well. Can't you tell that I am going to have a wonderful day with this?" She sighs and waves her wand to her hair, which unfurls from its bun and falls into a bob. "See what I mean? Just lovely. I cannot wait to flounce and dance around like some manner of ill-mannered madam."
"…Is that going to be all today, Professor?"
"Yes, it shall. Do remember to remember the motions. I'm sure you will find them quite important."
Hermione beats a trodden path as she races down to the bottom of the dungeons, hurrying onto the potions chamber. "Oh, come on… At least I can trust that Snape will be his normal, dreary self. At the very least I can trust his sense of professionalism…" Hermione catches her breath before shaking her head. "Ok, perhaps not that, but at least I know that he is not going to deal with all of this mess."
Cautiously, she opens the door and peers inside of the classroom. The cauldrons are all standing, waiting to be prepared for this next week's potion, but no one is in there to attend to them. Yet again, it seems that no one is present for her class. "This is getting out of hand."
"Indeed, Miss Granger." Hermione jumps and turns about, only to see Professor Snape standing at the door. "Do not proceed to gape. There is nothing unusual at arriving in the classroom twenty seven minutes ahead of schedule. Do proceed to your seat." Hermione quickly scrambles to her own seat as Professor Snape strolls up to his desk. A pot is already bubbling next to it, a potion ready to be extruded.
"Sir? What are we performing today? I'm certain that we are scheduled to—"
"Do be quiet." Hermione clams up and Snape just looks down his nose at her. "It is unlikely that there will be class today. Extenuating circumstances have proved to… vex me. I am certain that the rest of your class will be so terribly disappointed when they hear that news."
"Well, some of them will be." She hedges behind her cauldron. "Is it about that…?"
"That lovely event that is ongoing tonight. Yes, that is what is the current problem that I am going to have to partake in." Snape clucks his tongue. "Of course, this is a behavior that we should be encouraging in all of these young impressionable children, isn't it? A pity. But, for now, I will have to continue with my own activities."
"…What might those be?"
"I'm not sure that you would wish to be privy to those, Miss Granger. Although, I hope you would have deduced the current… requirements that we are having to undergo."
"I have an inkling of understanding about what is going on."
"Good. Then you understand what is being required of me." He shakes his head and walks back to the cauldron.
"…Well, I hope it's nothing like the Weasley twins are doing."
"Nothing so barbaric. They are simpletons that do not understand the more civilized manners of an earlier time." Snape picks up a ladle before lifting a full scoop of the potion out. He leans down and sniffs the potion. "Hrm. Finished. I suppose you always wonder why my hair is greased. It is a favorite speculation that your classmates love to discuss."
"…Well, I don't in particular."
"I have heard all of them. Especially Mr. Potter's. He has been quite vociferous in spreading his own claims. I shall have to deduct ten points from Gryffindor just for reminding me." He sniffs again. "No, but the reason is that my hair does require some restraint. Only the strongest potions can hold it down."
"…Because." He takes a sip of the ladle, grimacing as he does. The grease on his head immediately begins to slide off and drip onto the floor. After a brief pause, his hair starts to vibrate before expanding outward rapidly. Once it is done, he has a foot of hair extending up and to the sides. "It is time for me to bring back… The Funk."
"Professor Dumbledore!" Hermione dashes up to the statue guarding the staircase up to the Headmaster's office. "Professor Dumbledore, please let me in! This has really gone too far!" After a moment, she rears back and kicks the statue. "This is too far at this point. The hall has turned into a veritable party house. I mean, there is nothing intrinsically bad about this, but this is going much too far for a class day! Bollocks, this is still too much for even a weekend. It doesn't make any sense you'd allow it."
"Sometimes, that is the point." The statue turns away, and the old headmaster steps out. "You are not the first one I've heard this from today. There is a method to the madness."
"What could this be? How does this help the students?"
"I suppose for most, it does very little. I can think of two it can." He chuckles. "Besides, sometimes one thing that can be done is to allow a little impulsive behavior from time to time. And I have been monitoring the behavior of the students. Nothing has been overly excessive."
"But still, sir, why would you allow this to continue? There is no reason to. Classes have practically been canceled. …And Snape."
"Professor Snape, yes, he…" She pauses and looks at Dumbledore. "What?"
The elderly man chuckles a bit and strokes his beard. "You are quite the dedicated student. Do not worry too much. Sometimes a border can be drawn closer with a little nonsense, can't it?"
"Common sense is sometimes a liability." He smiles a bit before waving his finger. "And that is the right thing girlfriend, uh huh?" Hermione just stares at him, blinking. "Don't make me take my earrings out, now." She keeps staring. "Lemon drop?"
The evening sun is beginning to set as two figures are walking into the forest. Near the edge of the trees, one looks back to the castle as a faint roar of frustration echoes about the grounds. "…Did you hear that?"
"I'm sure that one of the Merman are mad that their prize dabberblimps were lost." The blonde turns back and smiles at Harry as he follows after her. "They are rather aggrieved when they wander off to lay in the sun, after all. They have to let their sacks to dry out. If they're too soggy, they won't be able to float."
"…I'm sure that is all that it is." Harry shakes his head. "I'm rather sure it came from the castle."
"The merman is quite the ventriloquist."
"I'll take your word for it." Harry shakes his head and speeds up, catching back up to the girl. "So, where exactly are we taking your little friend, Luna?"
"Back home, of course. She did wander quite a long way."
"But how did you even find her in the first place?"
"Well, I was looking for records on the breeding habits of Moon Frogs when I was wandering around the Room of Requirement. Funnily enough, there was a lot of material on Moon Rabbits, but everyone knows that's pishposh."
"Of course it is. Everyone knows those ears are fake." Luna smiles and looks down. "So I found this little friend down here rolling about. It looked like it was teething, like it was trying to gnaw at my arms, so I figured I should help take it back!"
"But what does that have to do with the posters?"
"Well, I needed help bringing Sexy here back. That's why I asked." She smiles and pats the top of its head. "Isn't that right, Sexy?"
The round object in her lap turns up and shoots a glare at Luna. "I told you ten times already! My name is SEKI!"
"Such a sweet girl, isn't she?" Luna pats the disembodied head. "But as it was, I could hardly leave her here. Nearly Headless Nick was disappointed at the sight, saying that he was rather jealous."
"What a freak… You think that a ghost would be able to take care of that trivial thing!"
"…Aren't you just a disembodied head?"
"I'm a Rokurokubi, not some human. I'm a vicious man-eating monster!"
"Aww, don't say such things." Luna rubs the back of the head's head, right near the bow. "You're such a doll, so don't say things like that. You might give Harry a bad impression."
"I think she's already succeeding…" The head closes its eyes a bit as it gets rubbed, but the moment that Harry speaks it snaps them back open and glares at him. "So, erm… she lives in the forest? Is it wise to be going here at this time of day?"
"Well, not until we get lost. Once we don't know where we are, we'll be fine." Luna just smiles. "Besides, the Forbidden Forest does have a nice atmosphere. It helps the thestral's and their lovely coats."
"Hmpf. You don't need to take me back. I could fly there on my own! …If I could still. Stupid outside…" Harry looks down at the creature and it puffs up. "What? I can do it, to! If I just had my body, I could fly just fine."
"Don't lose your head, Sexy. You know how bad your temper is."
"DON'T LOSE MY… MY NAME IS…" The head lets out an anguished scream and shakes back and forth. "Just take me back home, please… I don't want to be with this madwoman anymore."
"So… What happened to your body in the first place?"
"I… err…" The head looks away as blood rushes to its cheeks. …From somewhere. "I don't really want to talk about it. It's rather embarrassing."
"She said that some great big guy named O and his knee and a punting game. She didn't say much."
"I was not punted like some sort of ball!"
"Of course not, Sexy."
"Why… you…" The head rocks back and forth before turning to Harry. "…Can you help me?"
"I'm sorry. Luna looks like she has a good hold on you." After a moment, Harry looks at Luna. "So, where in the Forbidden Forest are we going?"
"We're not, of course."
"Then why are we here?"
"It's the way there."
"But where is there?"
"I can hardly know. I'll tell you when we get lost. Then I'll know exactly."
"…Whatever you say, Luna." Harry keeps marching along, shoving his hand into his pocket to keep hold of his wand. The forest continues to turn around him, although he barely notices as the morning light starts shining. "Whatever you say."