AN: I don't know if I'll be able to update tomorrow. I have to go on a trip, and don't know if I'll have time to post before I go. If I don't upload, then have a nice weekend!
Thank you for your patience and support! It is deeply appreciated!
Scorpius shook his head. "It wouldn't kill you to be a little less like your father."
Rose scowled as a student twirled by her. "My father is not wrong in this matter. This entire event is a waste of time."
"It's a dance, Rose, not another one of my Grandma Weasley's rants."
"This Halloween dance is completely unnecessary, and I am at a loss as to why I must endure it."
"You were the one who insisted on returning to work last week rather than rest at your grandparents' place."
"I am beginning to reevaluate that decision."
A few of the students meandered over to the nearby punch table.
"I do not know why you are so opposed to dancing." Scorpius took a sip of his punch. "You are an excellent dancer."
"I am quite mediocre actually," Rose replied.
"No, you are quite proficient in dancing, and you know it," Scorpius answered.
"I am only proficient in comparison to you," She snorted. "Then again, anyone who can manage to take five steps without crushing their partner's foot is a superior dancer to you."
"Fair enough," Scorpius muttered before snapping his fingers. The cup in his hand disappeared.
Soon, the final chords of the song faded in inaudibility. A few of the students grumbled while others began shouting out their requests for the next song.
"What time is it?" Rose asked.
"Not yet time to leave," Scorpius replied.
In the front of the room, a fifth year Hufflepuff scrounged around the stack of records, searching for the perfect song.
"I'll tell you what, Rose," Scorpius began. "If they play a slow song then you and I shall dance to it."
Rose put her right hand on her wand and watched the DJ place a record on it. If I aim just right I will be able to speed up the record so it will not matter what he has selected.
The bass rumbled as the guitar chords filled the room. Scorpius glanced at Rose, but she frowned. He deflated.
Rose's eyes fell on two students. "Melissa, Artemis."
"Yes?" they asked.
"Tell your friends to come here and watch me."
They stared at her.
"I have had the unfortunate displeasure of watching all of you flail about all night. That is simply unacceptable for next year's Yule Ball."
"But the Yule Ball is still two years away," one of the girls argued.
"Meaning you have precious little time to prepare."
"Are you really going to give us dance lessons in the middle of the Halloween Party?"
"Can you think of a better time to do so?"
One of the girls shrugged. The other called out, "Bertha, Gertie, Athena…"
"What?" One of them called back.
She motioned for the friends to join her. "Professor Rose wants to prepare us for the Yule Ball."
"But it's still two years away."
Scorpius whispered, "thank you," into Rose's ear.
She gave him a half smile.
Hermione raised her head from the pensieve. With a sigh, she walked over to her desk. She removed a quill from an ink pot and scribbled down two other names.
Once more she reviewed the list of names. Seventy of the members were aurors, thirty others had some type of criminal record, and one hundred twenty had not so much as gotten a broom flying violation. If the memories of those who witnessed their loved ones' transformations were to be believed, on the night of the first attack fifty of the victims were reading a book, another fifty were in the course of their bedtime routine, ten had completed intercourse, and the other ninety had been engaging in various other activities. The second and third days contained similar statistics.
Perhaps it was time to see which houses they had belonged to…
Hermione slammed down the quill. Nobody's cared much about house affiliation since the war. Why should it even come into play?
Then again, with her husband's memory at stake, nothing could be ruled out.
Hermione read the list a third time. While many of the names were unfamiliar, she knew a fair amount of the victims. Gryffindors and Slytherins were represented with forty members apiece, there were thirty Ravenclaws and twenty Hufflepuffs. It was unclear which houses the others belonged to. Unless she was going to claim that Hufflepuffs were more likely to be immune to this epidemic-which she could not do with such limited data-she would need to go elsewhere for an answer.
"Do not tell me you are still working."
Hermione turned to her husband. "I didn't intend to work for long, but I wanted to test out a few of my theories."
"Did any of them bear fruit?"
Her eyes said it all."
"Perhaps Rose's memory will reveal something," Severus offered.
Hermione's throat dried. "It might."
"Yet I fear I am in no mood to see to Arthur Weasley at the moment."
Severus approached her. "Then why don't you cease working and celebrate with me?"
Hermione's eyes glistened. "You remembered."
He took his hands into his. "How could I ever forget?"
"I guess you couldn't, but with everything going on, I figured my anniversary had fallen by the wayside," Hermione replied.
"Yes, but twelve years of remission is something to be celebrated, not ignored."
"I would hope so anyway."
Severus kissed her cheek. "I made you a sausage pizza."
Hermione threw her arms around him. "You are a wonderful wizard."
"Actually I am a horrible git," he replied. "Still, even the surliest gits has his occasional moments of romance."
"Or so I've been told," she whispered.
They allowed themselves to soak in the peace of the moment.
Hermione whispered. "So, should we go to the dining room?"
"We could," Severus' lips curled up. "Or we could play illicit rendezvous."
"Just think," Severus purred. "There is a room in our mansion which appears identical to the home room in which our alleged affair began. I have a chilled resiling just waiting to be drunk…"
"This may be the year we finish it before it becomes warm," she whispered.
"Perhaps," he replied.
"If we're disciplined we can finish our pizza as well."
Hermione brushed her lips against his. "Shall we begin?"
She yelped as he picked her up. He rasped, "I'm ready when you are."