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In Her Eyes Lies Her Heart

A Trip to Hogsmeade

On the Saturday before the first task, all students in third year or above were permitted to visit the village of Hogsmeade. Hermione told Harry that it would do him good to get away from the castle for a bit, and Harry didn’t need much persuasion.
“What about Ron, though?” he said. “Don’t you want to go with him?”
“Oh… well…” Hermione went slightly pink. “I thought maybe we could meet up with him in the three broomsticks…”
“No,” said Harry flatly, pushing his way out of the common room and on to the stairs.
“Oh Harry, this is so stupid-“
“I’ll come, but I’m not meeting Ron,” he said.
“But, Harry-“
“Just drop it Hermione.” Eve interjected from behind. She had been leaning against the wall waiting for them. She was dressed overly warm for the weather. She wore black leather pants tucked into her usual black boots, and a deep red sweater. On top of that she had a black leather jacket and her ever present black gloves. “If Harry wants to throw away a friend let him. Besides, Ron is the one who started acting like a jealous prat. He should apologize to Harry, and he’s not going to do that any time soon.”
“Oh alright then…” Hermione snapped. “If you’re going to gang up on me.”
Harry ignored Hermione’s irritated grumbling and walked beside Eve. “So, are you coming to Hogsmeade as a ferret or a human today?”
Eve stopped walking and waved a gloved finger in his face. “Look here, Harry Potter. I do not turn into a ferret. I turn into an Ermine. There’s a difference.”
Harry held up his hands placating. “Okay, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend-“
“No, of course you didn’t,” said Eve, continuing their trek down the moving staircases. “It’s just a pet peeve of mine, that’s all. Ermines are so much more dignified and symbolic than the domestic ferret.”
“Symbolic? How?” Harry asked her, leaping to the landing before the stairs could move again.
“They are the symbol of Purity,” answered Hermione from ahead of them, seemingly unable to resist answering a question. “In some cultures they represent beautiful and coveted women, since they have white coats and are elusive and hard to catch. I read about it while on holiday with my parents a few summers ago.” They reached the Entrance Hall.
“You still haven’t answered my question,” said Harry, looking around to see if they were alone. “Are you coming as a ferr- I mean, an Ermine- or a friend today?” He pulled his invisibility cloak out and threw it over himself.
“I think I’ve had enough skulking around on four legs for a while. Besides, if you’re going to be under that cloak, Hermione needs someone to talk to who is visible.” Eve adjusted her gloves and turned to where Harry had disappeared. “Budge up in that cloak until we pass Filch, though. I don’t feel like dealing with him today.”
Harry, made room for her and they began walking. As soon as Eve stepped in, Harry caught a spicy, sweet aroma, like cinnamon, cloves, and red wine all mixed together. Within seconds the scent filled the space, and Harry struggled not to breathe in too deeply; it was intoxicating. Harry became very aware of how close they were. They were pressed together to keep the cloak over them, and her hair was draped across his shoulder. He was relieved when they passed Filch and Eve stepped out from under the cloak.
They walked happily to Hogsmeade. Hermione and Eve got on as if they had been friends for ages, and there wasn’t a subject yet that they couldn’t talk about. Harry kept silent mostly, adding in his opinion every now and again, but on the whole he simply enjoyed the freedom of being invisible. Nobody was hissing or jeering or flashing Support Cedric Diggory badges at him. No one was quoting that stupid article at him or trying to get a rise out of him. He was free to observe his fellow students at his leisure.
“How about Honeydukes first?” suggested Eve as they reached the village. “It’s been so long, I’d like to see if they still carry those Dragon Fire Bonbons. I love those…” Eve led them into the shop. Hermione went to talk to a few fourth year Gryffindor girls, leaving Harry and Eve to walk about the shop. Eve led Harry around, looking more her age than Harry had seen her in a while. Her eyes positively lit up when she found a tray of the Bonbons hiding in the back of the store. She helped Harry fill his bag full of treats, pointing out different candies that she liked and he should try.
“Fizzing Wizzbees? That’s new. They must have been added after I left Hogwarts,” Eve picked one up to inspect it.
“You went to Hogwarts?” Harry asked, stunned.
“Multiple times, actually,” Eve put the sherbet down and moved on to the Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans. “It made me feel more normal, going to school like the rest of you. After the second time it was just too easy. I only came back for the third because Dumbledore asked me to. Now it looks like I’ll be here a fourth time. Do you want me to grab any of these for you?” she held up a box of the jelly beans.
“Er-no, grab a few of those Choco-Balls for me, though.” Harry pointed, forgetting he was invisible. “So you’ve been to school here three times? When were you here?” He asked, still stunned.
“Yeah, you can imagine how boring it got. I started going about a decade after I was cursed, after Slytherin had left the school. And I went again about fifty or sixty years ago, and then again about twenty years ago.” Eve filled her bag and Harry’s and took them to the counter to pay.
“Wait, then that means-“
“Shush!” she whispered warningly. The owner seemed to have heard Harry above the din and was staring into the apparently empty space Harry occupied. When Eve finished paying, she and Harry met back up with Hermione and left the shop.
“Is the cloak really necessary, Harry? I hate talking to you under that thing. I never know if I’m looking at you or not,” Hermione asked, frustrated. “Nobody’s going to bother you.”
“Look again,” said Eve, surreptitiously pointing out Rita Skeeter, who had just emerged from the Three Broomsticks.
“What’s she doing here?” Harry groaned.
“She’ll be staying for the first task, maybe even the entire competition. She probably has a room here in the village.” Eve answered quietly. Skeeter was walking toward them, and Eve didn’t want to draw her attention. They didn’t dare talk until she had safely entered the post office.
“Must be sending a new article to the Prophet,” Hermione said, scathingly. “How about we go have a drink at the Three Broomsticks. It’s a bit chilly. You don’t have to talk to Ron,” Hermione added, to placate Harry.
They entered the pub and relaxed into the warmth. Harry and Eve chose a table in the back while Hermione went to get their drinks. When they sat down, Eve pulled the cloak up slightly so she could see inside.
“Hullo, Harry,” she said, handing him his bag of sweets. “Just checking to see that you’re still there. How are you doing?” The cloves and cinnamon wafted in lightly.
“Fine. It’s nice to not be seen,” he replied, digging through the candies.
“Yeah, I can understand that. You’re really irritating Hermione though, maybe you could just take the cloak off for a little bit in here-“ but at that moment, Ron, Fred, and George walked in. Harry gave Eve a pointed look. “All right, point taken. You’re going to have to deal with it eventually, though.” She dropped the cloak and waved Hermione to their table.
They finished their drinks and stood to leave, but were confronted by Hagrid.
“Hello, Hermione,” he boomed in his usual big voice. “And Evie, too. It’s been a while. Yeh should come down f’ tea sometime.”
“We’d love to, Hagrid,” said Eve, smiling.
Hagrid leaned in close and dropped his voice to a whisper. “Hermione, could yeh tell Harry t’ meet me at midnight t’night? I have sommat I need to show ‘im.”
“Of course, I’ll let him know,” Hermione said.
“Thanks, Hermione. See yeh both later,” Hagrid beamed at Eve and made his way out of the pub.
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